Scotmid Co-operative was founded with corporate social responsibility (CSR) at the core of its values. We use ten key social and co-operative performance indicators recommended by Co-operatives UK to assess our work in CSR, including supporting local communities and co-operative initiatives, ethical procurement for our products, investing in our people, member democratic participation and environmental initiatives. Full details of our CSR performance for 2013/2014 are available to view in our annual report.
Supporting communities and co-operative initiatives
Scotmid operates a community grant scheme that awards funding for community groups and charities across Scotland. Scotmid spent over £250,000 investing in community and co-operative initiatives in 2013/2014.
Staff and customers also raise money each year for a corporate charity partner. Find out more about our charity partnership with Anthony Nolan.
The majority of products in our stores are made through the Co-operative Retail Trading Group (CRTG), a wholesale buying group established to centralise the buying power for co-operative societies across the UK. Being a member of the CRTG means that we continue to benefit from their purchasing policies. CRTG is committed to the principles of sound sourcing, animal welfare, food integrity, health and ecological sustainability as set out in their Sustainability Report published in 2013.
Investing in our people
A key part of our approach to CSR is investing in our staff and members through training and development. This year, 22925.5 hours of formal staff training took place, averaging 5.33 hours per employee. These hours included 6,756 of e-learning activity. Staff continue to undertake training sessions that develop skills and increase the knowledge of the co-operative movement in the UK and internationally.
Scotmid aims to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020 (using 2008 levels as a base). The Society is continuing to invest in various initiatives to assist the business in achieving this objective with the introduction of smart meters, energy efficient lighting and more efficient refrigeration with doors to maintain the temperature. We are again reporting on direct Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions in two ways: net emissions (that treat electricity from renewables as zero carbon emissions) and gross emissions (that treat electricity from renewables in the same way as ‘brown’ electricity). GHG includes carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O). Carbon dioxide emissions are produced as a direct result of burning fossil fuels. The Society produced an estimated 2,505 tonnes of GHG (net) from on-site operations compared to 2,993 last year. The gross emissions, which include electricity from a renewable source, are 23,676 tonnes (2012/13 – 27,916 tonnes). This equates to tonnes of GHG per employee 0.52 (2012/13 – 0.62 tonnes of GHG). The gross emissions figure has been significantly reduced due to a new conversion rate for renewable energy, as the basis has moved from a five year rolling average to a single year.
Proportion of waste recycled/reused
Our waste to landfill has been significantly reduced this year through the increase of anaerobic digestion for food waste and enhanced recycling. The year end estimated figure is around 1,000 tonnes compared to 1,700 tonnes last year, a 41% reduction.
Our cardboard recycling uses the same method as previously in that CRTG vehicles collect cardboard and plastic from our Food outlets for recycling and have provided an estimated percentage of the total amount of recycled waste attributable to Scotmid. Semichem outlets backload cardboard to our distribution warehouse for recycling. Our Head Office and Funeral offices recycle cardboard, paper and plastic through our waste uplift provider. As a result we estimate that we have recycled 2,600 tonnes of cardboard and plastic/paper/dry mixed waste and 620 tonnes of Food waste to anaerobic digestion. The proportion of waste recycled has increased to 77% from 60% last year following the completion of the anaerobic digestion programme.