A 3.5 billion rand ($205 million) sustainability-linked loan has been finalized by Shoprite Group to invest in the expansion of its key environmental programs as part of its broader sustainability strategy.
The loans, split into 2 billion rand ($176 million), a sustainability-linked loan of 800 million rand ($47 million) and a green loan of 700 million rand ($41.7 million) , were received from Standard Bank and RMB respectively, for investments in environmental projects.
Shoprite will leverage the loan for expansion by investing in:
- Renewable energy and increase in energy from renewable resources as a percentage of total electricity consumption
- Cardboard and plastic recycling
- Sustainable packaging, including reusable, recyclable and compostable packaging, containing recycled materials and
- Energy efficiency, including LED lighting and a refrigeration monitoring system to reduce energy consumption and waste
The Group will also use the loan to expand its existing sustainable investment. In the past fiscal year, Shoprite claims to have:
- Reduced carbon emissions intensity by 3.3% and water intensity by 7.5%
- 82% increase in the installed capacity of its solar photovoltaic (PV) systems
- Reduced electricity consumption by 150 million kWh thanks to its LED lamp replacement project since its inception
- Recycled 46,102 tonnes of cardboard from stores and distribution centers and diverted 10,241 tonnes of plastic waste from landfills and
- Paid out R2.2 million in rebates to customers for reusing their plastic bags from the start
Sanjeev Raghubir, Shoprite Group Sustainability Manager, said: “The loans allow us to continue on the path of reducing our environmental footprint by using more renewable energy and sustainable packaging and recycling more waste. These environmental programs are essential in our fight against climate change, and we are able to increase the pace and intensity of our actions thanks to these loans.
He further noted that the Group’s track record to date has provided lenders with demonstrable evidence of the nature and scale of its sustainability plans and ambitions, and enabled the retailer to access at a preferential financing cost.
“The loans allow us to continue to have a sustainable and positive impact on the environment and improve our operational efficiency, which translates into additional ongoing savings that we can pass on to our customers.