Massmart’s goal to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions has been hampered by inaccurate data.

To address this, we took three corrective steps: extending our pilot electricity-metering project to include more stores, appointing independent consultancy Global Carbon Exchange (GCX) to benchmark energy efficiency in our chains and focusing most of our emissions data-gathering efforts on scope 1 and 2 emissions (because we can exert greater control over these emissions). An immediate outcome is that we have included previously unaccounted for greenhouse gases in our scope 1 emissions reporting, namely refrigerant gases.

More accurate metering of electricity consumption reveals that our energy efficiency initiatives are not always delivering the anticipated impact. Our objective to reduce energy consumption by 12% by June 2011 now appears unachievable, so we’re reviewing this in the context of gathering more accurate consumption data and combining it with the results of the energy efficiency benchmarking exercise that is still in progress. We aim to confirm, or revise, the energy efficiency target by December 2010 and our findings will be published on the Massmart website.

In addition to building our own environmental credentials, we recognise that advocacy to suppliers and customers offers significant opportunity to limit the harmful effects of consumerism on the environment. We therefore continue to focus on intensifying environmental advocacy efforts with these stakeholders. This includes surveying the environmental practices of suppliers and increasing the number of Eco-wise merchandise promotions to customers. We are also exploring a number of opportunities, such as partnering with environmental advocacy groups, to build on our existing advocacy efforts.

For additional reading refer to


1.   Scope 1 emissions
    refer to direct carbon emissions occurring from sources that are owned or controlled by Massmart, specifi cally refrigerant gases, company vehicles and diesel generators.
2.   Scope 2 emissions
    refer to indirect carbon emissions from the generation of purchased electricity consumed by Massmart.
3.   Eco-wise merchandise
    refers to products that Massmart buyers have identifi ed as having unique positive environmental attributes, for example energy effi cient heaters or water effi cient shower roses.
  • Massmart measures its energy efficiency (website pdf). A four-page description of the approach, challenges and variables involved in calculating Group energy consumption including the impact of different assumptions on energy intensity.
  • Massmart calculates its carbon footprint (website pdf). A four-page description of the approach, challenges and variables involved in calculating the scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions including the impact of different assumptions on carbon emissions intensity. It also includes an estimate of scope 3 emissions.
  • A three-page description of the environmental attributes including energy efficiency and water conservation interventions in the new Makro Vaal store which represents the environmental model for future Makro stores.
  • Builders Warehouse uses Eco-wise to make saving the planet, and saving money, easy (website pdf). A two-page article showcasing Builders Warehouse Eco-wise customer campaign promoting energy efficiency solutions for the home.
  • Builders Warehouse encourages recycling (website pdf). A two-page article describing Builders Warehouse’s drive to get customers into the habit of recycling hard to dispose of waste.
  • Responsible customer e-waste disposal at Makro (website pdf). A two-page article describing Makro’s store-based customer e-waste disposal facilities that have been implemented in partnership with Fujitsu Siemens.


Graph legend

--- Comparative data

  No data available for that year



1.   Comparative data was calculated by GSX with reference to six Green House Gas (GHG) assessments across the South African operations of four South African retailers.
2.   Massmart trend data is not available for scope 1 emissions since this information has historically been reported by calendar rather than financial year.
3.   Trading Area (TA) covers any area in which customers are able to view, collect or pay for merchandise. It excludes space associated with storage, parking and support facilities.
4.   Scope 2 Trading Area emissions intensity is calculated with reference to the stores originally included when we started tracking scope 2 emissions in 2008.
5.    All Massmart data presented in this section is estimated due to difficulties experienced in ensuring data accuracy.
6.   Like-for-like refers to all stores that have traded for a full financial year and that will continue to trade for a further full financial year.

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