... and continued efforts to reduce climate impact
Action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
In recent years ICA Gruppen has achieved large reductions in emissions from its own operations. This is the result of a great many measures, including improved energy efficiency and moving to renewable energy, switching to refrigerants with a lower climate impact, and more efficient and more climate-smart transport solutions. Emissions have also decreased in relation to sales, which is partly a result of improved operational efficiency.
In 2022 emissions increased, however, largely because of higher emissions from goods transport in Sweden. The increase was mainly due to a lower percentage of renewable fuels. Since 2020 ICA Gruppen has climate-offset emissions from its own operations, i.e. stores, pharmacies, warehouses, offices and transport.
Electrification of ICA’s transport
At the end of the year transport accounted for just over 60% of the Group’s remaining greenhouse gas emissions. Efforts are under way to reduce these emissions. This involves the optimisation of flows between warehouses and stores, and a gradual transition to renewable fuels and further electrification of transport – all in line with ICA Gruppen’s fuel strategy. By 2030 all road transport within ICA Gruppen’s Swedish companies is to be fossil-free. In Sweden’s metropolitan regions (Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö) this will take place as soon as 2025.
During the year ICA Sweden continued the partnership with Volvo Trucks that started at the end of 2020. Various areas are involved, but one key element is to enable electrified transport solutions in Sweden for both urban transport and, in due course, also for longer distances between cities. ICA Sweden and Volvo Trucks will together create the conditions for implementing electrified solutions, both using existing products and service offerings and by together testing new technology. The first lorry with an electric motor was delivered during the year. The FE Electric model is used for refrigerated transport to ICA stores in the Gothenburg area.
Sustainable food systems – all the way from field to fork
Global food production was pinpointed by the UN IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) and other experts as one of the main reasons for the changes now taking place in both the climate and biodiversity. As a leading actor in groceries and food, ICA Gruppen has both a significant responsibility and considerable opportunity to have an impact.
In ICA Sweden, Rimi Baltic and Apotek Hjärtat efforts continued during the year to stimulate, inspire and encourage sustainable choices in various ways. These efforts were aimed at producers, suppliers and customers and were also made within their own operations. To facilitate more sustainable food systems – locally and globally – changes are needed to promote more sustainable production, a transition in consumption to a higher percentage of plant-based food and a reduction in waste throughout the value chain. Activities in 2022 included continuing to work actively on shifts in the assortment, including ICA’s Swedish plant-based product range, fruit and vegetable initiatives etc. There was also a process to identify the ingredients where the risks of negative impact from production are highest and where ICA therefore wants to increase sustainability certification for its corporate brands.
Further steps towards reducing food waste
During the year work also continued on various efforts to reduce food waste – in stores and warehouses as well as among customers. Although great fluctuation in consumption patterns hampered work at stores and warehouses, both ICA Sweden and Rimi Baltic stepped up the pace of their efforts to reduce food waste. These included price cuts, processing food into other products in store and donating to those in need. As an example, various stores have installed scanners that allow the customers themselves to get an automatic price reduction on short-dated products. In Rimi Baltic’s stores a new AI-based system for product markdowns was launched during the year with the aim of reducing waste.
To donate food that is still good to eat to those in need, ICA Sweden has partnered with organisations such as the Salvation Army and Matmissionen (Food Mission), Stadsmissionen’s social supermarket concept. Rimi Baltic has partnered with Food Bank, among others.