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Sustainability Spotlight: The SPAR Group Limited

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The SPAR Group Limited is the latest addition to the list of JSE listed companies using the GCX Analytics Dashboard. The Group is an international food retailer with operations in Southern Africa, the United Kingdom, Poland and Switzerland. The SPAR Group controls a diverse portfolio of brands and has adopted a voluntary trading model when it comes to its stores.

The SPAR Group have an established sustainability team, who have been spearheading the group’s sustainability action. They have established the “My SPAR, Our Tomorrow” sustainability policy, which focuses on health, community, sourcing, environment and people as well as their sustainability pledge which outlines the group’s contribution to societal change, responsible living, opportunity creation and resource stewardship. In line with this pledge, SPAR not only responds to the CDP Climate but also to the CDP Forestry and Water Disclosure, being one of the few South African companies disclosing all three. Along with their disclosures, the Group are also constituents of the FTSE4Good ESG index, which measures their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance.

SPAR has aligned itself with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and as such has established both environmental and climate goals in line with the SDGs. In order for these targets to be met and tracked, SPAR realised the need for comprehensive and accurate data. Having independently owned operations brings with it challenges in data management due to the ownership and autonomy of each independent retailer. The ultimate goal is to get all SPAR stores onto the GCX Analytics dashboard for comprehensive reporting.  

For the moment GCX will be focusing on the South African portfolio of The SPAR Group that is under corporate control. This includes its seven distribution centres across South Africa and 57 corporate-owned stores. GCX is going to work with SPAR to improve its data quality and confidence across this portfolio so that SPAR can confidently meet and report on its ambitious goals. This is the point of departure for SPAR and GCX with the ability to work in packaging monitoring analytics and the full suite of ESG metrics and swing factors.

The GCX way of operating with our clients is having a project champion at the helm to work on the client’s side to be our one point of contact. At SPAR, Chloe Karstadt is our designated champion. Working as the sustainability specialist at SPAR. We will be working with her to help The SPAR Group meet their sustainability goals.

“The SPAR Group has set ambitious targets to become an organisation of the future. In order to meet our environmental and climate goals and targets, we need to have accurate and reliable data to enable better decisions. The GCX system is already set up to accurately report on our desired outcomes as well as present the opportunity to increase the number of outputs reported on while reducing manhours required for monitoring and consolidating of this data. The GCX team has vast experience in the carbon footprint and ESG reporting sector, enabling us to better respond to our stakeholders.”

Chloe Karstadt, Sustainability Specialist, The SPAR Group Limited


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Bernard Jacobs

DIGITAL DIRECTOR

After 14 years in the marine water sector Bernard joined GCX in 2013 and initially focused on water sustainability at corporate level. It was this process that highlighted that “most” corporates, with all good intentions, do not have the know-how, ability or understanding of how to go about gathering, managing and reporting responsible data.

During his tenure at GCX, Bernard combined his formal accounting training, his IT skills and worked together with the highly skilled technical team at GCX and its associates to develop the GCX GCX Data Analytics and Sustainability Hub (DASH-).

Ohad Shachar

SUSTAINABILITY DIRECTOR

Ohad joined GCX in 2008 and has over 15 years of sustainability management consultancy experience, specialising in the development and delivery of climate change response programmes. This has included carbon footprint analysis, life cycle assessments, GHG verification services, CDP reporting and GHG mitigation and adaptation strategies – all of which he has implemented with a portfolio of JSE-listed companies across various sectors such as Property, Insurance, Finance, Mining and Fisheries.

Ohad has co-authored various climate adaptation studies in agricultural and insurance sectors, and has assisted companies and cities in developing innovative climate risk and vulnerability assessment tools. He has a BSC Hons in Biochemistry, and an MPhil in Environmental Management.

Sandra Ririe

FINANCE & OPERATIONS MANAGER

Sandra is responsible for the financial and operational management of GCX. She brings rigour and discipline to the organisation’s finances and executes our strategy through efficient and sustainable operations management. Prior to joining GCX in 2012, she worked with a variety of companies to optimise their administrative processes and to build capacity internally, with a specialised focus on customer relationship management. Sandra holds a BComm Financial Accounting Degree from Stellenbosch University and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Enterprise Management from the University of Cape Town.

Kevin James

CEO & FOUNDER

Kevin leads a dedicated team of strategic environmental sustainability and project management experts. He and his team actively support the transformation of large, complex organisations into more responsible and valuable entities by unlocking fast-emerging green economy opportunities.

As a professional with deep experience in strategic corporate sustainability as well as in the development of green, low carbon projects, Kevin and his team have developed sector-leading technology within the design and implementation of business intelligence analytics. Kevin also holds non-executive Directorship in The Green Building Council South Africa.