Coles Sustainability Actions
Coles is committed to sourcing quality, healthy products in an ethical and responsible way
We want to make it easier for our customers to make sustainable choices, so we take a sustainability mindset when developing our Own Brand products.Coles Own Brand products are sourced ethically and responsibly. Suppliers must meet our policies and requirements across a range of areas including product safety, human rights, animal welfare, health and nutrition and packaging.We want to provide all Australians with great-tasting Own Brand products that deliver healthier choices for our customers and meet their dietary needs. We've developed a range of policies that cover salt, sugar and trans fat reduction, the use of artificial colours and flavours, and nutrition and health labelling for our Own Brand products.We also support the Health Star Rating, a Federal Government front-of-pack labelling program aimed at assisting customers to make healthier choices when buying packaged foods.
Fires, floods and other extreme weather events all have the potential to affect our customers, our suppliers and our own operations. As we face the impacts of climate change, we need to be able to respond quickly so that we can continue to serve our customers around the country.Whether it’s chartering a plane or a boat to get stock through floods, or working with emergency services and food rescue organisations to support communities devastated by bushfire, we have developed and will continue to develop business continuity plans. This includes working with our suppliers to build supply chain resilience through the $50M Coles Nurture Fund, which has supported a range of climate adaptation programs to mitigate against the impact of drought.Reducing our own greenhouse emissions is a key part of our climate change response. We spend millions of dollars each year investing in initiatives such as improving the energy efficiency of refrigeration systems in our stores and distribution centres.
Waste and recycling
To minimise food waste across our supply chains and our own operations, every Coles supermarket and distribution centre is connected to a food waste solution. Rather than going to landfill, food is helping people in need, assisting farmers to feed their animals, being recycled into compost or converted into energy.Through our partnerships with SecondBite and Foodbank, we've been able to provide more than 147 million healthy and nutritious meals to community organisations across Australia that support people in need. More than 390 stores are connected with farmers who feed their animals with products that can’t go to SecondBite or Foodbank.We're also reducing food waste in our supply chain by redirecting produce that typically would not be sold into other value-added products. Bananas are used in Coles Brand frozen banana pieces, banana bread and muffins. Cauliflower and broccoli are turned into broccoli and cauliflower rice. These products and others, such as zucchini noodles, sweet potato noodles and sweet potato chips, are all helping our suppliers use up more of their crops and cut food waste. With less food going to landfill, we're also helping to lower our greenhouse gas emissions as part of our climate change response.
We're commited to sustainable and ethical sourcing
- Australian First Sourcing Policy - Responsibly sourced seafood - RSPCA Approved Coles fresh chicken and turkey - No added hormone beef
While packaging plays a key role in keeping food safe, maintaining freshness and reducing food waste, we know our customers want less packaging overall and more recyclable packaging.We're using industry tools to ensure the recyclability of our Own Brand product packaging and working with the Australian Packaging Convent to guide the recyclability of our range. We're working towards our goal for all Coles Own Brand packaging to be recyclable through kerbside services or through the instore REDcycle soft plastics program.We're rolling out the Australasian Recycling Label which gives customers information on how and where to recycle different packaging components.We're also increasing the amount of recycled content in our packaging. Our fresh produce bags are made with 30% recycled content, our Own Brand spring water bottles are made from 100% recycled content, and our Better Bags are made from 80% recycled content.
REDcycle - soft plastic recycling
We're proud to offer REDcycle recycling in all Coles supermarkets. Through the program, customers can recycle plastic bags and other soft plastic packaging using specially marked bins located at the front of our stores.Since the program began in 2011, Coles has diverted more than one billion pieces of flexible plastic from landfill across Australia.Customers can recycle a range of soft plastic packaging including bread bags, cereal bags and frozen food bags.
Single-use plastic carry bags
To encourage our customers to use reusable bags when they shop at Coles, we offer a range of reusable bags for purchase. These include the 15 cent Coles Better Bag, which is made from 80% recycled material and has been designed to be reused.
In 2019, we were excited to announce a 10-year agreement to purchase more than 70% of the electricity generated by three new solar power plants in New South Wales. This was the ﬁrst deal of its kind to be made by a major Australian retailer.We're also installing solar power at many of our supermarkets. This helps reduce the store’s environmental footprint and keep energy costs down. Installing solar power is part of Coles’ commitment to increase the amount of energy we source from renewables.
We're reducing the environmental footprint of our stores.To help cut back on energy used in refrigeration, we have installed night blinds on open refrigeration cases, anti-condensation heater controls on our glass door freezers and cool room controllers.We're also testing other technologies to improve the energy efficiency of refrigeration systems in existing stores. We are also working on climate control to better manage fresh air in store and reduce air-conditioning. Plus, we have installed LED lighting and automated lights to reduce our energy use outside of trading hours.
Together to Zero Hunger
We’re working together with charities and our partners towards zero hunger. This encompasses our commitment to donate unsold, edible food from our supermarkets and distribution centres to food rescue organisations, and the support we provide in times of need, including funds and food as part of disaster relief.