Sustainable supply





Location: Clichy, France

Sector: Sales and services

Date of creation: launched in 2012

Analysis by the association: March 2018

Corporate strategy for the environment.


Monoprix is a French retailer, founded in 1932, offering food products, cosmetics, ready-to-wear and home products. In 1990, the company was one of the first to commit itself to a sustainable development approach and to offer organic products in its stores.

Since then, Monoprix has continued its commitment to the environment and launched a new roadmap in 2012 concerning their CSR strategy until the year 2020. It focuses on 4 major strategic actions:

– ECONOMY: to achieve 10% of sales from organic, fair trade, eco-labelled products;

– ENVIRONMENT: reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% per euro of turnover (compared to 2008);

– SOCIETY: reach 80% of employees who would recommend Monoprix as an employer;

– SOCIAL: give the equivalent of 6 million meals each year to associations.

The group’s originality lies in raising its customers’ awareness of sustainable development and the environment in a fun and entertaining way (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Advertising of the brand raising its customers’ awareness of recycling

  • 7.1% of sales, in 2017, is achieved through responsible productsresponsables¹;
  • In 2017, 65.1% of business waste was recycled (cardboard, bones and tallow, bio-waste, plastic and wood) in all establishments ;
  • In 2017, the total amount of food donations represented €9.1 million, equivalent to 6.2 million meals.
  • Sustainable supply
  • Functional economy
  • Recycling
  • Expansion of product life span

presentation of the circular economic approach

Monoprix has a global sustainable development policy. In this article, we focus on approaches related to the circular economy.

  • Monoprix Tous Cultiv’acteurs (We are all “Harvest’actors”)

Launched in June 2016, this project aims to accompany 33 conventional market gardeners towards more sustainable agricultural practices. These farmers are committed to achieving the Bee Friendly² label within 3 years, with the help of agricultural experts. In return, they obtain a better financial return on their production. The initiative arrived in stores in February 2017 and represents 15 fruit and vegetable chains and 13% of the department’s turnover.

  • Responsible Fishery

Since 2011, Monoprix no longer markets deep-sea fish species and since 2016, different species of organic fish are available in the fish section. In 2018, all wild fish will be labeled Pavillon France or MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) and all farmed fish will be labeled organic or from responsible Monoprix channels.

  • Local products “Made in not too far”

Monoprix works with more than 450 local producers, less than 160 km from the point of sale, in order to favour regional and seasonal products, limit transport and promote the local economy.

  • Partnership with the  company SEB

Starting from September 2018, 5 Monoprix stores will launch a rental service for 5 types of SEB household appliances via an online platform. SEB is also in partnership with an integration company (ENVIE) which takes care of cleaning the appliances after use.

  • Recycling of industrial waste

All Monoprix stores sort at source all waste with a recovery process: paper, cardboard, plastics, wood, bones and tallow, food waste and used edible oils. The brands give preference to recycling channels that are as local as possible.
There is no real eco-design policy but a development of this approach is underway for the new range of organic products: Monoprix Origines.

  • Reduce clients’ waste

In accordance with legal obligations, Monoprix has set up waste collection for its customers, in conjunction with state-approved eco-organizations.

    • Shop&Give

As of July 2017, customers now have the option of returning used batteries and light bulbs or perishable goods that are still consumable but surplus to their needs to the deliveryman when they deliver their groceries to their home (Figure 2). The concept will soon be extended to textiles and bathroom waste.

Figure 2. Publicity presenting the principle of Shop&Give

    • Citeo – Eco-packaging

In March 2018, a plastic bottle recycling campaign was initiated for a period of 3 years in 8 stores in Paris and Marseille (Figure 3). It offers customers the possibility of taking their bottles back to the store, in exchange they get a voucher (one cent per bottle) or can choose to make a donation to an association (Secours Populaire). Indeed, on average in Paris and Marseille 1 bottle out of 10 is recycled compared to 1 out of 2 nationally.

Figure 3. Publicity to encourage the recycling of plastic bottles

    • Sales with no packaging

Since 2011, organic fruits and vegetables are sold in bulk in more than 80 stores. And since 2014, organic dried fruit in bulk has been added to the offer in around 100 stores in France.

  • Combating food waste

    • Re-belle Jams

Re-belle is an anti-waste integration company based in the Ile de France region, and makes seasonal jams from unsold fruit and vegetables from certain Monoprix stores.
 20 stores collect the jams and 100 stores sell them, including Monoprix, as well as hotels and delicatessens in Paris. The jars are sold at 3.90 euros each. Nevertheless, the estimation of the quantities required to correctly supply the 100 stores needs to be improved, as a 30% shortfall in products has recently been observed.

    • Too good to go

It is an application that links businesses with unsold food to customers willing to buy it, the same day, at a reduced price. Monoprix is currently testing the application; it would allow them to complete their revaluation of unsold items when collection associations, such as food banks, do not come by often enough to dispose of unsold items.

    • Food banks and Disco soup

All Monoprix stores have a partnership with food banks and/or Disco Soup, allowing them to donate their unsold food. Disco Soup has the particularity of distributing soup during festive and general public events.

  • Donations and collections to solidarity associations

Since 2017, all Monoprix stores have been donating their non-food merchandise at the end of each sales period, i.e. 2.4 million euros of merchandise, mainly to the Red Cross in Île-de-France, Emmaüs or Secours Populaire in the provinces.
In addition, consumers can participate in donations through collects organised by Monoprix, in collaboration with reuse associations such as Rejouet (an association that refurbishes the games and toys collected and then offers fun activities), Relai (the textile collected is transformed into thermal insulation or rags) or Emmaüs (for the recovery of school supplies).

sustainable approach

All the actions put in place enable the company to reduce its CO2 emissions:

  • Supporting producers towards sustainable agriculture, also preserving terrestrial and marine biodiversity and the quality of the soil and waterways ;
  • Local supply, by limiting the transport of goods ;
  • Recycling waste, by limiting incineration and encouraging composting ;
  • Recycling unsold food and objects that we no longer of use, rather than throwing them away and burning them.
  • Responsible products accounted for the majority of sales in 2017, amounting to 299 million euros for these products alone, 18% more than in 2016. In addition, 97% of this figure is generated from organic products.
  • Indirect benefits realized thanks to the “sustainable” image of the brand, encouraging customers to consume its products.
  • For example, puting in place the program Shop&Give, to collect waste during deliveries, did not generate supplementary costs of transportation.
  • Support for social integration ;
  • Support for fair remuneration of producers ;
  • Access to certain products of better nutritional quality ;
  • Collaboration with charities to redistribute unsold food, clothing, toys, etc ;
  • Raising awareness of responsible consumption and sustainable development ;


In 2017, the Foundation will finance 23 associative projects for an amount of nearly 221,000 euros.

replicability & future perspectives

Many initiatives are already being carried out in other groups and with other merchants, such as the use of the Too Good To Go application, the donation of unsold food to charities, etc.
All of the initiatives presented could be taken up by other companies, but some of them are costly and do not necessarily generate profits. This is a commited position, possible for a large company, which makes it possible to build loyalty among customers who care about environmental protection and should be coupled with revenue-generating initiatives (sale of responsible products).

  • A major food retailer that consumes a lot of energy (maintaining the cold chain) and offers products with a high carbon footprint ;
  • Increased recovery of business waste is possible, it was 65.1% in 2017;
  • Use of a large amount of plastic packaging that could be reduced by offering eco-packaging and further developing bulk sales.

Launch of a new range of products from organic farming, taking into account the origin of the products: favouring local and quality producers while using eco-packaging.


  • Responsible products¹ =  products from organic farming, fair trade or with an environmental label.
  • Bee Friendly² = This label aims to promote pollinator-friendly production systems. For more information :

Copyright CirculAgronomie 2020