Reusables offer greater efficiency and sustainability, the leading retailer reports
Kaufland continues to pursue its sustained commitment and relies on reusable trays in the fruit and vegetable sector instead of disposable cartons. Since 2003, the company’s customers have been receiving fruit and vegetables in green reusable Euro EuroGrade systems in Germany. Initially, cooperation was limited to Germany only. Between 2014 and 2015, the initiative was successfully expanded to its retail locations in the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia. Since the end of 2018, the green returnable packaging of the logistics service provider Euro Pool System has become standard packaging for the fruit and vegetable logistics of the Kaufland stores throughout Europe. Meanwhile, both companies are also working together in Croatia, Romania, and Bulgaria.
Kaufland is an international retail company with over 1,270 branches and around 140,000 employees in seven countries. The company operates in Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia, Poland, Romania, and Bulgaria.
“By using Euro Pool System reusable packaging, Kaufland has reduced its CO2 emissions by around 35,000 tonnes per year in 2018. Thanks to the new countries, around 42,000 tonnes of CO2 can be saved for the year 2019, “emphasizes Stefan Lukes, Head of Purchasing Fruits and Vegetables International.
From the producer through the distribution center to the presentation of goods on the market, the fresh produce remains in the Euro Pool System crates. As a result, mostly disposable cartons are dispensed within the European logistics chain. “Through the Europe-wide change, the sustainability of delivery processes at Kaufland is increasing enormously,” says Lukes. “In addition, packaging damage is avoided and valuable resources conserved at the same time.”
At the beginning of April, Kaufland Poland received the “Sustainability in Retail Award 2018” prize in the Food Retailer category as a special award. The company has been honored for promoting sustainability and exceptional commitment to conservation.
The cycle of reusable lifts and Smart Return Logistics
Euro Pool System delivers empty and cleaned reusable packaging to producers who fill it with fruits and vegetables. The goods remain in the market until the presentation of the goods in the green crates. Euro Pool System collects the empty reusable crates from the Kaufland distribution centers and delivers them to one of the 70 Euro Pool System service centers in Europe. In the service centers, reusable packaging is cleaned according to strict specifications and reintroduced into the logistics cycle.
Since March 2019, the return process has been significantly simplified with the introduction of Smart Return Logistics. With this concept, returnable packaging will be handed over to Euro Pool System unsorted. All reusable walkways are additionally equipped with a QR code to ensure a transparent return chain. Smart Return Logistics not only supports traceability but also relieves the employees of Kaufland by eliminating sorting.