Shoprite secures R3.5bn in loans for green projects

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Africa’s largest food retail group Shoprite Holdings has secured R3.5 billion from the country’s largest banks to further invest in various environmental and renewable-energy linked projects.

The JSE-listed group on Monday revealed that it will be receiving a R2 billion loan from Standard Bank – South Africa’s largest bank by assets – as well as a R800 million sustainability-linked loan and another R700 million green loan from Rand Merchant Bank.

Shoprite says it is also working on securing another sustainability-linked loan.

The group notes that the funds it will receive from the lenders will be used to invest in “renewable energy and the increase of energy from renewable sources as a percentage of total electricity consumption”.

Additionally, the funds will go towards investing in recycling projects, sustainable packaging and driving energy efficiency at its sites.

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“The loans enable us to continue on the road to reduce our environmental footprint by using more renewable energy and sustainable packaging, and recycling more waste,” says Shoprite group sustainability manager Sanjeev Raghubir.

“These environmental programmes are key in our fight against climate change, and we are able to increase the pace and intensity of our actions with these loans,” he adds.

Building on environmental impact

Shoprite says the additional funding it has secured will help it build on the investments it has already made over the course of the past financial year.

According to the group, in the previous year it was able to reduce carbon emission intensity by 3.3%, while water use intensity declined by 7.5%.

Further, Shoprite has managed to increase the installed capacity of its solar photovoltaic (PV) systems by 82%.

“The loans allow us to continue to make a sustainable, positive environmental impact and improve our operational efficiencies, which in turn result in additional ongoing savings that we can pass on to our customers,” says Raghubir.

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