by Anthony Dane
That’s the message in Shoprite‘s new TV advert around energy savings. The supermarket chain, Africa’s biggest retailer “for lower prices you can always trust”, says it is saving electricity wherever it can.
By switching off in-store lighting and installing the latest energy saving devices they have saved R37 million on electricity, enough to power 12,000 households for a year.
Their ‘we save, you save’ message is closely linked to their core business of saving customers money. In Incite’s opinion, this advert reflects Shoprite’s official movement into the Stay Afloat phase of our sustainability strategy positioning. They are now firmly focusing sustainability on cost savings and efficiency as opposed to just doing the basics of compliance around sustainability, a stage we call Risk getting Dumped.
Other South African supermarkets such as Woolworths position themselves in what we call the Surf the Waves stage of sustainability strategy where they are innovating with products and processes to create value, as opposed to just protecting it. The fourth and final stage of our sustainability strategy model is where companies Create the Waves. Walmart is a good example of a company creating small but disruptive waves through their supply chain initiatives.
Each stage is a valid sustainability strategy for a company; the key is to know where you are and to make conscious decisions that reflect your positioning. Saving or creating, we know that following a good sustainability strategy makes business sense.