It's Earth Day, which gives us a chance to reflect on the state of the environment and the different ways we can do our part. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is an important starting point, and goal 12, relating to sustainable consumption and production, is aligned with many of the values that drive Shopic.
It’s remarkable to think about food waste. US retailers generate nearly 16 billion pounds of food waste every year. To put it another way, about 30% of all food that enters an American supermarket leaves out the back door, into the trash. Things aren't all that much better in Europe, where approximately 121 million tons of food are discarded at the retail level.
Discarded food is more than just wasteful. As food moves down the supply chain, it increases its carbon footprint. Manufacturing plants, packaging, and shipping, in addition to water usage and farming involved in growing, all take their toll on the planet.
At Shopic, we’re helping supermarkets reduce their food waste. Our smart cart screen can be used to share specials and promotions with supermarket customers. However, it can also be used to promote foods that are nearing their sell-by date.
Supermarkets can use our technology to promote fruits and vegetables that are nearing the end of their shelf life. They can move milk, cheese, and other dairy products that are still good but need to be consumed within the next few days. And they can create special, limited-time offers on meat, bakery goods, and other perishables that increase savings the closer it gets to an expiration date.
Using the retail media screen clipped onto each cart, supermarkets can significantly reduce the volume of food they discard every day. Reducing food waste is a win-win. The supermarkets can salvage inventory that would have otherwise been completely lost while the community at large reduces its negative environmental impact.
Shopic Smart Carts contribute to the well-being of our environment in another important way. When supermarkets introduce smart carts to their stores, oftentimes, they are left with hundreds of older existing carts. While some may be sold, many of the existing fleets of shopping carts are discarded. Those that are sold inevitably replace other carts, which are also sent to the landfill.
Shopic’s clip-on smart cart breaks the cycle of disposal. Supermarkets can upgrade their cart functionality without replacing them. In addition to providing significant cost savings, the clip-on cart helps reduce the pressure put on landfills by shopping carts.
At Shopic, we’re working hard with our supermarket partners to improve sustainability, in line with the UN’s sustainable development goals. However, we all have to do more. Today, we use about 50% more natural resources than we did 30 years ago. Twenty of the warmest years on record have occurred since the year 1999.
It’s becoming increasingly clear that we need to make changes. Let’s all take this time, as we reach Earth Day 2023, to find areas where we can contribute to the health of our planet, and do our part.