The Shoprite Group has acquired over 100 new fuel-efficient Scania Euro V trucks, which will benefit the retailer and its customers.
The Scania Euro V trucks have a proven fuel saving of around 10%, with lower carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions.
In South Africa, the group is well-known for its mass-market appeal, with its retailers Usave, Shoprite, and Checkers, which include 29 distribution centres nationwide.
During the 2020 and 2021 financial years, Shoprite’s fleet travelled close to 90 million km and delivered more than 350 million cases of products to its stores.
Shoprite’s chief supply chain officer Andrew Havinga said that the new trucks are crucial to its supply chain’s transport route planning and scheduling system, which optimises energy efficiency and deliveries to the group’s stores.
Optimising energy efficiency and reducing costs
In addition to changing to more fuel-efficient trucks, Shoprite plans on installing solar panels on its trailers.
Drivers can switch off these trucks while the refrigeration and tailgate lift runs on solar power.
While these efforts will benefit the retailer by reducing operational costs, it will also be a benefit that extends to the consumer, as these costs are generally reflected in the price of its products.
“Operational and supply chain efficiency is critical in ensuring that the group remains Africa’s most affordable retailer,” said Havinga.
A positive move amid rising ESG matters
The importance of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) matters is growing among investees and investors worldwide, including in South Africa.
Companies are aware that investors are looking to invest in companies better positioned on ESG issues.
Lenders are becoming increasingly aware of the potential impact ESG risks have on the creditworthiness of businesses, and shareholders, customers, and civil society are increasingly pushing the ESG agenda.
In June 2022, the JSE released its Sustainability and Climate Disclosure Guidance document to guide listed companies on best practices in ESG matters.
Shoprite’s shift to ‘green trucks’ indicates its climate change commitments, as future ESG-driven investment is an opportunity to unlock additional capital flows to sustainable enterprises that can demonstrate ESG alignment.
“By further increasing the energy efficiency of our trucks and training our drivers on how to reduce fuel consumption, we can lower the comparative impact of the distance our fleet travels every year while also reducing our environmental impact,” said Havinga.
Shoprite’s fleet currently includes 903 trucks and 1 360 trailers, of which 928 are fitted with solar panels.
The group expects to grow its fleet of fuel-efficient Euro V trucks annually, with an additional 140 units planned by the end of 2023.