- Retail property giant Liberty Two Degrees (L2D), a South African precinct focused retail-centred REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) will be implementing a ‘no plastic shopping bags’ policy across its malls by 1 January 2020.
- L2D believes that the future of retail is defined by a continued adaption of standards that meet national and global sustainability goals.
- The company has a vision of a Net Zero sustainability target by 2030, which sees the reduction of usage of energy and water as well as an efficient waste management system.
Amelia Beattie, Chief Executive of L2D comments “Natural capital is a critical part of the day-to-day function of all business. There should therefore be the same kind of urgency in transforming policies that govern natural capital as there are for other forms of capital. Plastic pollution is already a crisis and we need to avoid the chain reaction of unraveling ecosystems. The only choice we have is to create transformational targets and actions. We have therefore undertaken this bold step to implement a ‘no plastic shopping bags’ policy across our malls to ensure that change starts with us.”
As part of its commitment, L2D has partnered with an Alexandra community based organisation called Bana Bags to introduce plastic free bags into its centres to ensure the continuation of education to encourage sustainable and environmentally friendly ways of doing business. L2D has also already initiated the introduction of recycling drop-off booths in Sandton City and at Eastgate Shopping Centre and will be rolling this out throughout the portfolio.
The commitments of L2D’s valued tenants, many of whom have already made this declaration publicly, will be critical in implementing the policy. The production of plastic, particularly single-use plastics is one of the environment’s greatest risks, having reached an epidemic proportion.
“With rising levels of plastic pollution in our country and oceans, it is no longer a case of best practice to eradicate the use of plastic shopping bags but rather a commitment of paramount importance and necessity. We are committed to implementing this initiative to drive our sustainability imperative. The policy will be effective 1 January 2020 and as a sector benchmark, we are keen to continue to transform the retail industry in an environmentally sustainable manner,” Beattie concludes.
Author: Bryan Groenendaal