Food waste management is an important part of operating in line with the principles of the circular economy, but it is also a financial issue.
We minimise food waste through systematic action and monitoring. We distribute and donate soon-to-expire food products through our extensive network of partners.
In our stores, we seek to sell products as soon after their arrival as possible. Their freshness is checked daily, and we reduce the prices of products nearing their ‘best before’ dates. Our discounted products with red labels (-30%) and evening discounts (-60%) are popular among our customers.
At S Group’s grocery stores, each product is recorded as waste individually. This enables us to monitor the amount of waste and analyse it accurately by product and store on a daily basis.
At restaurants, waste is generated when preparing food and as leftovers on customers’ plates. At buffets, waste is reduced by closely monitoring the number of guests, scheduling preparation and serving food in accordance with the number of customers, for example.
We primarily donate any unsold food products to charity. S Group’s grocery stores have more than 400 charity partners in Finland, with nearly 700 stores donating food. Items generating the most food waste suitable for donation include fresh bread, fruit and vegetables.
Any waste that we cannot donate for one reason or another is submitted to be reused as energy. For example, we use food waste in the production of biogas or the Eko E85 bioethanol fuel, which is sold at many ABC service stations. Deep-frying oil from restaurants is recycled via Suomen Kasviöljykierrätys, a company specialising in recycling vegetable oils, to be used in the production of renewable fuels.