Our Position Statements

We are very proud of our achievements. Our customers, staff and business partners are continually helping us make a difference to the environment and our communities. Here's an in depth look at how we're working towards making sustainability a reality.

Sustainable Farming

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

Our preference is to avoid the use of GMOs in Woolworths-branded foods. We are continuously investigating sustainable and commercially viable alternatives, and remain committed to reducing the number of products that contain ingredients from GM crop sources. As from 30 June 2019, 100% of Woolworths’ private label food products and pet food have been GMO-free.

See Woolworths’ GMO position statement

Animal Welfare

We believe it is our ethical obligation to ensure that our suppliers treat all the animals in our supply chain with respect and in the most humane way possible. We believe animals should have lives worth living.

See Woolworths’ animal welfare position statement

Energy and Climate Change

Woolworths recognises that climate change is a major issue that the retail sector contributes to through our operations and our supply chains. We have concentrated efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

See Woolworths’ climate change position statement

Ethical sourcing

Sustainable Cocoa

We support responsible cocoa farming by sourcing more and more certified sustainable cocoa.

See Woolworths’ cocoa position statement

Sustainable Palm Oil

As the first South African company to become a member of the global Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), Woolworths is helping to promote and raise awareness of the need for sustainable palm oil. Palm oil is a versatile raw material used for food and non-food industries and contributes to economic development.

See Woolworths’ palm oil position statement

Clothing

Most of us don’t fully understand the environmental impact of our clothes. From their production to the materials that make them, all the way to transportation and washing, clothes can have a significant impact on the environment.

See Woolworths’ sustainable clothing position statement

Ethical Trading

We have embarked on a journey to better manage our ethical supply chain and to take more responsibility for improving the lives of workers in our South African and global supply chains. In doing this, we partner with credible organisations and standards to increase transparency and encourage more sustainable practices.

See Woolworths’ Holdings ethical trade position statement

See Woolworths’ Holdings Code of Business Principles

Deforestation

Woolworths recognises the environmental and social importance of safeguarding the world’s last remaining ancient and endangered forests, as well as the role of reducing deforestation and forest degradation in mitigating climate change. As part of our Good Business Journey, we are dedicated to selling products that cause minimum harm to the natural environment, help maintain biodiversity, and help improve the lives of workers in the supply chain.

See Woolworths’ deforestation position statement

Waste

Food Waste

According to the WWF’s Food Loss and Waste: Facts and Futures report (2017), approximately 10 million tonnes of food is wasted in South Africa each year. We have committed to reducing the amount of food wasted across our supply chain as well as finding ways to promote food security. 

See Woolworths’ food waste position statement

Packaging

We try to ensure our products remain protected in transit so that additional waste is not created. In the case of food, we also want it to remain safe and hygienic, and to extend its shelf life for as long as possible so that additional food waste is not created.

See Woolworths’ packaging position statement

Water

We’re doing all sorts of things to reduce water consumption, from harvesting rainwater at some of our stores to working with our suppliers to reduce water use through our Farming for the Future programme and our Water Stewardship Project in the Western Cape.

See Woolworths’ water position statement