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Waste management

We are working to make sure that we are moving towards zero to landfill every day.

Our approach

Almarai is dedicated to environmental and natural resources protection and reducing our ecological footprint. We are actively working to decrease our direct waste and packaging while enhancing our recycling initiatives. Additionally, we are exploring alternative materials and delivery methods to traditional packaging. We are committed to informing our suppliers, farmers, and consumers to enable them to make more sustainable choices. Through collaborative efforts, we believe we can build a more sustainable future for all.

We are committed towards waste reduction and optimum use of our resources. We aim to be more efficient in our operations and emphasize on waste diversion from landfills. In our efforts to minimize food waste, we consistently enhance our demand forecasting for precision and cost reduction. Moreover, we aim to maximize recycling of packaging and process waste generated from our manufacturing and distribution sites. Furthermore, we collaborate with waste management firms to recycle challenging materials like shrink wrap, diverting them from landfills by reusing them into alternative materials.

We are dedicated towards reducing our waste generation and ensuring responsible disposal practices. To achieve this, we have formed a waste steering group to facilitate information exchange and create strategies aimed at reducing landfill waste. Our goal is to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills by 2025 by 50%, compared to levels recorded in 2018. We prioritize waste prevention, reuse, recycling, and maximizing the utilization of food surplus. Through these efforts, we align our waste management practices with the waste grading principles.

2023 performance and initiatives

In 2023, our waste recycling initiatives continue to thrive as we were able to recycle 50% more the amount of waste as compared to 2022. We also increased our food waste sold to animal feed by 45% which is a testament of our commitment towards waste reduction. We have also significantly reduced our waste going to landfill as we have come down to 55% as compared to 70% in 2018. We have also continued to expand our partnerships with third-party providers to divert food and dairy waste to animal feed programs. We have also initiated a new partnership with a third-party provider in Dubai, who recycles the packaging and removes water for reuse through reverse osmosis. Additionally, we have continued to expand our procurement efforts for additional partnerships with public and private sector entities, currently being explored.

Our highlight stories

Producing organic fertilizer

Almarai's poultry litter charring operations in Hail continues to produce organic fertilizer. The EcoChar Gasification plant located in the facilities is running in HADCO, producing a carbon-rich product obtained when biomass is heated in a closed container in either an oxygen-starved or oxygen free environment. This product consists of high phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and carbon values and can hold 2.5 times its volume in moisture. This product has superior nutrient- retention properties and is more valuable for improving stability in soil compared to biochar. Ecochar, considered the premium version of biochar, can increase crop yields, boost agriculture, and has a variety of other uses, including animal feed supplements, bedding, and use as a water filtration medium.

Waste reduction collaborations

Almarai has been working with packaging suppliers, recyclers, plastics manufacturer, National Center for Waste Management (MWAN), and Saudi Investment Recycling Company (SIRC) to reduce waste at source and divert most waste away from landfill. In addition, Almarai has been working with other businesses from FMCG, plastics manufacturing and recycling sectors at KSA Packaging Working Group under the Federation of Saudi Chambers to engage with MWAN and SIRC to divert more waste from landfills.

Progress on our strategic goals and targets

  • Achieved
  • On-track
  • Some progress
  • Limited progress
Goal/Target Progress
Reduce waste going to landfill across all our divisions by 50% by 2025 (against a 2018 baseline)
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