Supermarket chain SPAR’s Hungary subsidiary has released its first annual report, detailing the organisation’s sustainability activities throughout 2022.

The report highlights efforts taken by SPAR Hungary last year to promote sustainable practices and activities in five key areas across its business, including environmental protection, food safety, social responsibility, healthy lifestyles, and employee protection.

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Together, these five areas are in close alignment with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the retailer noted.

SPAR Hungary president and CEO Gabriella Heiszler said: “We have kept focusing on the company’s sustainability vision even during a year of economic difficulties in 2022.

“SPAR Hungary aims to further enhance its commitment to sustainability in regard to employees, customers, and suppliers, to become Hungary’s leading retail chain addressing sustainability issues and challenges.”

In 2022, SPAR Hungary minimised its plastic use by nearly 84 tons (t) by introducing a thinner pallet packaging film.

The retailer eliminated the use of single-use plastic bags from its fruit and vegetable departments in the second half of 2022. These bags were replaced with biodegradable options shortly after.

The biodegradable alternative is capable of carrying heavier weights and is home-compostable, allowing customers to dispose of it in a compost or municipal waste bin after use, a company report added.

This effort to transition to these biodegradable bags alone has helped in reducing the amount of plastic produced by the company to 450 tonnes per annum.

The retailer further expanded its used cooking oil collection points across the country.

Compared to 2021, the company reduced its overall waste by 2,200 tonnes or by 6.4% in 2022.