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Ensuring a sustainable and prosperous convenience industry in Scotland

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C-Stores to Benefit From Refit Funding Grants

Scotland’s convenience store sector is set to benefit from a £100,000 energy efficiency boost thanks to the announcement of new Scottish Government funding.

 The Convenience Store Resource Efficiency Grant – managed by Zero Waste Scotland – will allow independent convenience store retailers to apply for a grant of up to £5,000. With the funds to purchase equipment such as double-glazed refrigeration doors and LED lighting, retailers will be able to reduce their energy costs and cut carbon emissions.

 Speaking at the Scottish Grocers’ Federation conference at the Royal Bank of Scotland Conference Centre in Edinburgh, Chief Executive Pete Cheema, said:

 "This major investment in our sector is the result of a highly effective partnership between the Scottish Grocers’ Federation and Zero Waste Scotland. The funds will help convenience store retailers to lead the way in terms of increasing energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions. I would urge all SGF members to make the most of this fantastic opportunity as a means of taking another step towards helping Scotland to become an environmentally sustainable society.”

 Resource Efficient Scotland – a programme funded by the Scottish Government and delivered by Zero Waste Scotland – will form a key part of the new grant process through the expert guidance it already provides to businesses, including members of the Scottish Grocers’ Federation, to help them use resources more efficiently.

 Louise McGregor, Head of Circular Economy at Zero Waste Scotland, delivered a conference speech highlighting the many ways that Resource Efficient Scotland can provide support to businesses – and retailers in particular. She said:

 "Convenience stores are at the heart of communities throughout the country and so their sustainability, in all senses, is of crucial importance. Improving resource efficiency has a considerable impact on a business’s bottom line – and convenience stores typically spend between £10,000 and £20,000 per year on their energy costs.

 "By installing resource efficiency measures such as double-glazed refrigerators, LED lighting and controls and heat recovery systems, stores could save between 5% and 35% of their annual costs,  depending on the individual circumstances of the store.

 "The Convenience Store Resource Efficiency Grant is therefore a fantastic addition to a host of advice and information that Resource Efficient Scotland already has on offer to businesses – small and large. All the details can be found on the Resource Efficient Scotland website.”

 

 

 

 

 

SGF Helps to Keep Scotland Beautiful

The Scottish Grocers’ Federation has formally announced that it will work alongside environment charity, Keep Scotland Beautiful - to help ensure that proceeds from the 5p single use carrier bag charge collected in convenience stores throughout Scotland supports their customers’ communities.

Following the introduction of the carrier bag charge in Scotland, the Federation’s members have raised significant sums which have, to date, been donated to a range of local charities and other good causes. The new partnership with Keep Scotland Beautiful will allow smaller retailers to work together and make sure that the benefits of the carrier bag charge in corner shops are as tangible as the larger supermarket initiatives.

Keep Scotland Beautiful has a long term commitment to use the donated proceeds from the carrier bag charge to further engage local communities Scotland-wide and support local residents efforts to transform, clean-up and green-up their own environments.

Pete Cheema, Chief Executive of SGF, commented:

“The Scottish Grocers Federation has, since the introduction of the carrier bag charge, encouraged retailers to donate the proceeds to good causes that will improve the local environment. The initiative launched today will provide a central platform to allow us to work together, supporting a Scotland-wide environmental campaign.

“By partnering with Keep Scotland Beautiful this will ensure that our retailers will be able to see significant environmental improvements on their own doorstep - benefiting their customers and the communities they serve.”

The partnership cements the relationship formed when the Federation, through its President Abdul Majid, signed a commitment to support the Clean Up Scotland Campaign run by Keep Scotland Beautiful last year. Now Keep Scotland Beautiful has pledged to deliver further environmental improvements with the Federations’ support..

Derek Robertson, Chief Executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful, said:

There can be little doubt that the introduction of the 5p charge has had a significant effect on shopper behaviour. It has also allowed charities, such as Keep Scotland Beautiful to help transform communities by supporting locally led clean ups and further action on environmental improvements.

“We look forward to deepening our partnership with the Scottish Grocers’ Federation to continue to reach out to local communities across the country and help deliver real changes to help make Scotland cleaner, greener and sustainable.”

 

 

 

 

MSPs Congratulate SGF

The Scottish Parliament has endorsed a motion congratulating SGF on the publication of the first-ever Scottish Local Shop Report. The motion was tabled by Gordon MacDonald MSP of the Edinburgh Pentland constituency and has gathered considerable cross-party support, this could result in a members' debate in the chamber.  The report has been developed as part of SGF's ongoing partnership with ACS. MSPs will receive a copy of the report at an event in the Scottish Parliament in January 2016. 

STARK PICTURE OF IMPACT OF THE LIVING WAGE

Scottish Grocers’ Federation has just completed preliminary analysis of a short members’ survey on the likely impact of the living wage on independent convenience store retailers.

The results, from a snapshot of independent retailers across Scotland,  reveal a stark picture of the potentially disastrous impact of the proposed living wage on jobs and investment in the convenience store industry.  Almost thirty per cent of respondents said that they would be forced to cut staff hours in response to the intended hike in pay to £7.20 per hour. Almost twenty per cent said they would cancel or delay planned investment in their businesses with ten per cent likely to be forced to make redundancies.

 

Commenting on the initial findings, Head of Public Affairs John Lee said,

“If the UK government had consulted with industry or even with the Low Pay Commission it would have been told in no uncertain terms about the folly of introducing such an unaffordable increase in pay. We now have an emerging picture of the likely results: staff hours being cut, investment grinding to a halt and possible redundancies. We will be working with colleagues at the ACS to dissuade the UK government from taking this forward.”

 Lee added that the SGF wil also work towards developing a retailers’ guide to minimising the impact of the living wage. 

 

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