Ahold Sustainability Recommendations

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Ahold Sustainability Recommendations

Hunger remains to be one of most urgent sustainable development challenges of this time; yet on the flipside, the world is producing more than enough food for its entire population. One-third of the world’s food produced for human consumption is wasted every year, as per the latest report of Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)[1]. That is roughly 1.3 billion tonnes of wastes, amounting to USD 990 billion and 70% of which is coming from rich industrialized nations. On a per capita basis, consumers from Europe and North America are wasting up to 115 kg a year compared to 11kg a year from consumers in Africa and Southeast Asia. Clearly, there is a huge gap and mismatch in the production, consumption, distribution, and disposal of food across the world, creating a myriad of economic, social and environmental problems related to these wastes. [pic 3]

Supermarkets contribute a huge chunk of these food wastes, to the point where public outrage has forced these retailers to rethink their sustainability strategies and goals in the next five to eight years. While there are emerging good practices in sustainable retailing, it has barely made a dent in the hunger problem given that only an average of 2% of the wastes is being utilized to support charities[2].[pic 4]

In this paper, the group focused on the case of Ahold Delhaize and how they are addressing and driving down food waste in their operations and support communities in need. Ahold Delhaize is a world-leading food retailer operating in the US and Europe with store formats include supermarkets, superstores, online grocery shopping, convenience stores, drugstores, wine and liquor stores. Food waste falls in the high impact on Ahold and mid-importance to stakeholders in the Materiality Matrix as per their 2016 Annual Report[3].[pic 5][pic 6]


Development of Store Inventory and Customer Discount Portal [pic 7]

Wasted Food is the number 1 product entering landfills. The value of the food wasted globally is estimated to be between 162 and 218 Billion dollars annually. thus, we propose that Ahold Delhaize spend in the development of an online platform that will look at significantly reducing the amounts of food that reaches expiry date in their hands and is effectively wasted and ends in landfills.

The online and mobile marketplace will look at the disposal of these foods prior to their expiry date by automatically marking down the price and directing the consumers via Global Position Systems (G.P.S) location settings on mobile or online detailing the location of the stores where a consumer is likely to find the specific goods they are looking for.