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Sustainability and social responsibility are an integral part of the retail chain’s corporate strategy
BILLA Bulgaria has made its sustainable business strategy transparent and accessible by publishing its first corporate responsibility report. The report illustrates the consistency with which BILLA operates in terms of products, the environment, employees and society as a whole, as well as the company’s future objectives.
Boyko Sachanski, BILLA Bulgaria’s manager, proudly introduced the first corporate responsibility report of BILLA Bulgaria which is also the first one in this country’s retail sector. This is the first corporate responsibility report of REWE Group in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. The 64-page report summarises 1 January 2010 – 31 December 2014 data that indicates the expanding process of sustainability that has grown into a new strategy with a number of long-term sustainable activities.
"We believe that in the long-term the only companies that will survive in the market will be the ones that save resources, consider their employees to be the most important capital and show respect for them and build relations of trust with their partners. These are actually the companies that contribute to the development of society," Mr. Sachanski said.
Sustainable activities for a successful strategy
REWE Group’s four pillars of sustainability are as follows:
BILLA Bulgaria´s sustainable projects
Due to the continuous work on projects concerning the four pillars of sustainability as of the end of 2013 BILLA Bulgaria succeeded in decreasing the greenhouse gas emissions by 15% and reducing the carbon intensity of its business by 22% in its strive to improve waste management. Moreover, BILLA Bulgaria is trying to view waste as a resource. That is why in 2014 72% more of waste packaging materials were recycled thanks to the paper baling presses installed in every BILLA store in 2009. We are utilising about 30% of all biodegradable waste we generate by processing it into biogas.
Cosumers want more local products
BILLA Bulgaria has created stable partnerships with Bulgarian fruit and vegetable producers. Since 2013 over 70% of the vegetables and fruit sold in the retail chain‘s supermarkets in the active production season are produced in Bulgaria. Furthermore, BILLA increased the direct deliveries from Bulgarian farmers by 100%. In response to the growing demand for organic products we provided a wide variety of organic foods which take up 5-10% of the total number of goods in the Fruit and Vegetables department.
BILLA supports employee development
We provided a variety of choices for improvement of employee competencies, knowledge and communication skills. That is why in 2013 BILLA Bulgaria considerably enhanced the number of the training classes in comparison to the base year and introduced two e-education modules developed and implemented by REWE Group. In addition, in 2011 the BILLA Academy, the first retail training centre in Bulgaria, opened at BILLA‘s logistic centre in Elin Pelin.
Motto: do good first and then talk about it
We supported various good causes and events including sustainable development of people as well as campaigns devoted to environment protection and emergency support. Over the last five years BILLA has donated more than BGN 200,000. BILLA is trying to set an example for responsible business behaviour in a quite complicated situation with a lot of social, economic and environmental challenges.
BILLA´s Corporate Responsibility Report is now available online on www.billa.bg.