• 2024-06-05
  • SMU

SMU Highlights Key Environmental Management Initiatives

In 1972, the United Nations General Assembly designated June 5 as World Environment Day. Since then, this observance has highlighted the importance of protecting and caring for ecosystems, with companies worldwide committing to this cause.

In Chile, SMU, the parent company of Unimarc, Alvi, Super 10, and Mayorista 10, emphasizes environmental care as part of its Sustainability Model. Key initiatives include recycling, reducing food waste, and enhancing energy efficiency.


In 2023, SMU recycled 16,879 tons of waste across its operations in all sixteen regions of the country. This total includes 15,726 tons of paper and cardboard packaging and 685 tons of plastic materials. The remaining tonnage was accounted for by recycling and/or transforming textile products, oils, and composting.

Additionally, SMU has implemented actions to encourage sustainable practices among its customers, such as eco-labeling on private label products, the use of returnable packaging, and the sale of bulk products.

Marcela Salas, SMU's Sustainability Manager, stated, "As part of our 2023-2025 strategic plan, we aim to achieve Eco-Label certification for 50% of our private label product range. In 2023, we reached 19%, a significant improvement from 11% in 2022."

Food Waste Reduction

The company’s No Food Waste program saved 6,900 tons of food in 2023.

Two major initiatives stand out within this program. One is “Pronto Consumo,” which discounts products nearing their expiration date by 50% to encourage their purchase and rescue. This initiative prevented 6,069 tons of food from being wasted in 2023.

The second initiative, "-Waste +Consciousness," donates food unsuitable for sale but safe for consumption. In 2023, 641.4 tons of consumable food were donated, benefiting over 173,000 people and positively impacting the communities where SMU operates. Additionally, 95 tons of food unsuitable for human consumption were provided to animal care and protection centers, contributing to the development and nutrition of various species. Finally, 94.6 tons of food unsuitable for any consumption were used by third parties as raw materials for new products.

Energy Efficiency

SMU significantly increased the proportion of renewable energy used in its Chilean operations. In 2023, 12.1% of the company's total energy consumption came from renewable sources, a 3.1% increase compared to 2022.

Notably, SMU has advanced in ISO 50.001 certification for its Energy Management System (SGE), achieving certification for 382 installations in 2023, including all Unimarc, Alvi, Mayorista 10, Super 10 stores, and the Lo Aguirre distribution center. The implementation of the Energy Management System included energy efficiency training programs for employees, in order to raise awareness about energy usage and reducing energy consumption. Training takes place periodically in order to contribute to a cultural change in the company's approach towards energy consumption.

"This certification is a significant milestone demonstrating our commitment to environmental care and our dedication to operating more efficiently and sustainably. Implementing our energy management system was challenging due to the diversity of our operations, which include various formats and geographic locations. However, the cross-functional effort of different company areas enabled us to reach our goal," said Rafael Pardo, SMU's Operational Excellence Manager.