Zero Waste Solution

Every day, enormous amounts of food are wasted in modern commerce, even though it is      in perfect condition. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization[1], it is estimated that ⅓ of food globally goes to waste, producing not only economic losses along the entire value chain, in the context where 2.37 billion people globally do not have food resources or the ability to have a healthy and balanced diet, but it also has a major negative impact on the environment by producing a high level of carbon footprint. Stores sell them at a reduced price, but often consumers are not sufficiently informed about these actions.

The Zero Waste Program implemented by Auchan Retail Romania is a solution to this problem. Through effective communication in store, dedicated areas, yellow labels, online (social media) and through media channels, Auchan customers are constantly informed and encouraged to make responsible choices. The Program is supported by a digital solution, based on Artificial Intelligence.

How it works

Launched in June 2020, the Zero Waste Program completely changed the operational and strategic approach in which products with a reduced shelf life, but still of optimal quality, are managed. While offering Auchan’s customers advantageous prices for numerous fresh and consumer products, the Program allows for a better utilization of food with a reduced life cycle. The products are allocated yellow labels and displayed in dedicated areas created within Auchan stores, marked with the Zero Waste logo, thus giving customers the opportunity to spot them easily.

From an operational point of view, the Zero Waste Program leads to a simplification of employees’ processes and rituals, improving productivity and process efficiency. Also, as an innovative digital solution based on artificial intelligence with results that exceeded our expectations, it was quickly adopted in other countries where Auchan is present. Particularly important is the support that this Program  benefits from throughout the value chain, being a major factor in driving upstream engagement and increased sales, by enabling a considerable optimization of orders. 

The main objective of the Zero Waste Program is to combat food waste by:

  • saving a minimum of 800 tons of food from trade each year;
  • reducing Auchan’s carbon footprint;    
  • increasing the level of consumer awareness related to the magnitude of the impact of food waste on the environment, but also on the economy and the costs of the entire distribution chain: from the producer to the final customer.

The final goal of the program is the complete elimination of food waste and, thus, the avoidance of at least 4,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year.

Impressive feedback and results

The company’s objective to reduce food waste by at least 800 tons of products annually has already been exceeded, reaching 2,670 tons in 2022. By implementing the Zero Waste Program, Auchan contributed to saving 6.1 million products from going to landfill. 

As Zero Waste Program meets a community need and offers a reliable solution to reduce food waste, it has enjoyed the involvement and support of stakeholders since its inception. The Zero Waste areas in the stores are dedicated to all residents of the cities where Auchan stores are present – they thus become not only direct beneficiaries of this program, but also Auchan partners in the fight to reduce the impact of combating food waste on the environment.

Moreover, the Program also helps to reduce the value of customers’ shopping cart. Protecting the purchasing power of customers represents a constant priority for Auchan, and by purchasing products from the Zero Waste area, the consumer benefits from a lower price for their favorite products. Equally, Zero Waste plays an important role in improving the quality of life through the direct contribution that the consumer has to the reduction of food waste, on a moral and ethical level.      

Not only the customers got involved in large numbers in the Program, but also the Auchan Romania’s employees. Internally, Auchan employees are constantly informed about the results achieved, the innovations implemented and the positive impact that Zero Waste Program creates. They were enthusiastic about the Program from the beginning and responded positively, as a result, every day, they all actively  participate in the fight against food waste.


[1] https://www.fao.org/home/en/

curated by Auchan

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