Whilst most of the establishments in the retail industry during the last couple of years have based their focus on developing business strategies for expansion, LuLu Hypermarket is aiming to set a benchmark for the company’s carbon reduction targets and circular economy best practices.
Dr Mohamed Althaf, director, LuLu Group International, stated that LuLu Group has achieved sustainable operations certification for various outlets in Qatar as part of its ongoing efforts to reduce energy, water, and waste, and to incorporate sustainable practices.
“A team was formed with a broader vision to reduce LuLu’s carbon footprint by 50% before 2030 and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The project and the operations team started working on this broader dream by taking appropriate measures of studying and identifying the areas for reduction opportunities in energy, water, and waste.
“The knowledge gained during the study was used to identify and quantify the savings gained from both the project and the operations. A central repository of data was created to store and review the cost incurred for energy and water procurement and waste removal during the operations. This data helped to justify the importance of adopting new sustainable practices and quantify the value of such practices,” Althaf explained.
A leading retailer exercising sustainable best practices, Althaf said LuLu paved the way in its commitment to sustainability by taking “real and demonstrable measures” to protect the environment and contribute to reducing carbon emissions and food waste.
As a recipient of the Sustainability Award 2019 at the Qatar Sustainability Summit, LuLu has highlighted its efforts to promote environment-friendly practices in its operations and 18 stores in Qatar, as well as in the community at large. The conglomerate has strong CSR policies to bring a reduction in the increased environmental concerns, he pointed out.
Althaf said LuLu Group has framed its own strategy on sustainability, which is put into practice in all its retail units and supply chains worldwide.
“LuLu is deeply committed to reducing its impact on the environment and taking real and lasting steps to ensure this. As part of our commitment to Qatar National Vision 2030, we have been actively working to reduce carbon emissions and food waste, as well as promote healthy eating,” Althaf stressed.
LuLu Hypermarket, the retail division of multidimensional and multinational conglomerate, Lulu Group International, has always been known as a trendsetter of the retail industry in the region, Althaf emphasised.
He said LuLu’s operations cover business divisions in the retail segment for the popular hypermarket brand, shopping mall destinations, food processing plants, wholesale distribution, hospitality properties, and real estate development.
“The group has proved resilient despite the challenges caused by the pandemic. Two new stores were opened in 2020 in the region amidst the pandemic, and with that, LuLu in Qatar today symbolises quality retailing with 18 stores and is immensely popular with the discerning shoppers in the region. It is stated that the firm’s retail portfolio in Qatar will reach 22 stores by the last quarter of the current fiscal year,” Althaf emphasised.
He added: “As an ardent promoter of ‘Made in Qatar’ products, LuLu provides dedicated retail space and point-of-sale terminals for locally-manufactured food products. The company has started sourcing its private label products locally, ensuring uninterrupted supplies and stock availability. LuLu engages closely with local farmers through a variety of support schemes and promotional initiatives to enhance supply and demand.”
Some of the sustainable best practices implemented by the LuLu team are as follows:
• GSAS-Op certification - LuLu Hypermarket in Qatar has become one of the first retailers in MENA to achieve sustainable operations certification under the Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) from the Gulf Organisation for Research & Development (GORD).
• Building Management System - BMS has been installed for buildings to efficiently manage the assets associated with the building ventilation and lighting;
• Cloud energy optimisation system - Honeywell forge has been installed to efficiently manage and optimise the energy used during the operations;
• LED - Use of LED is being encouraged for upcoming projects and existing projects are gradually being shifted to LED from conventional lights;
• Light control system - Light control systems assisted with motion sensors are being considered to optimise the use of energy, especially in the warehouse operations;
• Designing new buildings with energy efficiency in mind;
• Energy efficient chillers - Procurement of new energy-efficient chillers that optimise the use of energy and increase the cooling efficiency;
• Submeter for tenants - To manage the water consumption and energy submeters are being implemented in tenant spaces;
• Dual flush system for WCs - New projects are being encouraged to use the double flush system to reduce the water usage;
• Waste segregation and separation from the source - Outlets are being encouraged to segregate their waste for easy disposal and collection. Three compartment bins are implemented in all general areas to encourage customers in waste segregation;
• Food waste digesters - Food waste digesters are being used to efficiently manage the food waste generated in the operation. An innovative food waste solution called ‘ORCA’ recycles food waste by breaking it down into water (mainly), and some carbs, fats, and proteins, which are then captured or repurposed. This is currently being trailed at LuLu’s Bin Mahmoud store;
• Reverse vending machines have been procured and implemented in multiple outlets to encourage and educate customers on the segregation and recycling of plastic bottles and cans;
• Reusable bags have been introduced and promoted in all the outlets, encouraging customers to reuse their shopping bags thereby reducing the fresh plastic in the system;
• Recycle - Recycling of paper waste and oil waste is done and encouraged throughout with the help of recycling partners that efficiently divert these materials from landfills and recycle them back into the system;
• Setting in place a policy around the correct collection and disposal of used cooking oil;
• Reduce the amount of plastic in packaging.
- Introduction of Refilling Stations
- Introduction of Kraft paper bags
- Biodegradable Packaging made with sugarcane pulp, used for packing in-house kitchen products;
• Be efficient and eliminate waste in our operations
- Controlled production
- Controlled ordering of raw materials;
• Increase in the consumption of locally sourced ingredients;
• Promoting sustainable suppliers and products; and
• Introduction of plant-based food options.