We continue introducing innovative initiatives to make our operations more environmentally friendly.

We provide a fully funded solution for retailers who want to reduce their carbon footprint and electricity bill. The scheme replaces inefficient lighting systems with light-emitting diode systems.

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Upfront capital is funded by the electricity provider, and savings in electricity costs are shared between parties. Typical savings are approximately 20% of the bill. In addition, there are reductions in yearly maintenance costs.

We also initiated a value engineering project across several the key SPAR installation elements to ensure optimal value and efficiency when a new store is built or refitted.

BWG Group vehicles are Euro 6 rated. They contain BlueTEC ECO technology, delivering superior fuel efficiency. Since using compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles for the transport fleet, we dramatically reduced fuel consumption and experienced a consequent reduction in both running costs and environmental impact.

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With a current fleet of about 110 vehicles, should BWG migrate completely to CNG, the savings in CO2 terms are significant. CNG vehicles also offer reduced noise levels. A CNG vehicle running on biogas will achieve a 90% reduction in CO2

There has also been a significant focus to reduce transport and delivery costs through delivery consolidation and a nationwide rerouting project.

A new distribution facility in Baldonnell to support the existing national distribution centre by means of a cross-dock building was opened in August. This allows for consolidated deliveries to retail customers.

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At the national distribution centre in Kilcarbery, we installed sensors in common areas that should see an overall reduction in electricity usage. Emergency lights are being changed to on a phased basis. Across buildings and conventional warehouses, lights were replaced by energy-efficient LEDs. The feasibility and scope for solar panels in the distribution centre are being evaluated. A reracking project was also completed. Order fulfilment, on-time delivery and service levels to retailers remain excellent. 2019 marked a new milestone when service levels for grocery categories from the national distribution centre were in excess of 99% for the full year.

We are active members of Repak, a not-for-profit recycling and waste management company setup by an Irish business and owned by its members. Repak charges members fees according to the amount and type of packaging they place on the Irish market. These fees subsidise the collection and recovery of waste packaging through registered recovery operators across Ireland. Therefore, individual member companies are exempt from this requirement.

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Recycling of dry mixed recyclables and food waste, food composting and cardboard and plastic bailing takes place at BWG Group sites. Cardboard and plastic waste generated by the national distribution centre is bailed for recycling. We are also investigating a move to compostable cups across the BWG Foods coffee programme.

BWG Group priorities for 2020

Delivering the 2020 budget, including:

  • Mitigating the ongoing Brexit risk to the business
  • Continuing like-for-like topline growth
  • Continuing to support retailers to achieve topline growth and profitability growth
  • Preparing for and mitigating the risks associated with the changes in legislation on alcohol which is anticipated to take effect in 2020

Continued focus on the retail strategy work to differentiate and grow our brands:

  • Continue rolling out the new SPAR retail strategy and delivering best-in-class convenience stores
  • Developing and delivering a new retail strategy for Londis
  • Continued focus on delivering topline and profitability growth for BWG Foodservice

SPAR retailers’ top priorities

  1. Delivering like-for-like sales growth
  2. Maintaining net profitability levels
  3. Managing the labour challenge in a full employment economy
  4. Ensuring business continuity post-Brexit