FOCUS 74: Ensuring A Sustainable Course Of Action

Thomas Wong, Operations Team Leader at Le Petit Depot gives an overview of the company’s ongoing green initiatives.  


Can you share your recent projects and approach toward sustainability? 

At Le Petit Depot, as much as possible of our goods arrive by cargo ship. It is the most efficient way of transportation for all groceries, frozen food, drinks, and household products. However, some of our products are also airfreighted and as part of our on-going move towards more sustainability, we believe it is crucial to limit the overall impact and propose an alternative with “locally produced products” whenever it is possible like for example fresh vegetables, fruits, and some of the grocery products as well. Our goal is to integrate more sustainability into the end-to-end chain so that new products launched bring improvement in terms of sustainable criteria. We will be happy to propose very soon a very large offer (>200 products) of fruits & vegetables 100% sourced in ASEAN. It does not mean that LPD will stop the import of fruits and vegetables from Europe, as we also have a strong demand for products whose origin is more familiar to our customers and for which the labels (like AB / Demeter label for example) are much more recognized by them. 



What are your key commitments to sustainability?  

It started from day 1 with the last mile. Back in 2013, LPD was among the pioneers who already delivered carton boxes. Since then, we have put in place the collection & recycling of our delivery materials which we re-use as much as their condition allows it. 

Also, we pioneered in 2013 in the food wastage reduction area. Our plate-form offers a unique feature that displays in full transparency the shelf-life of the products and allows the customers to adapt their purchases to their forecasted consumption. Besides delivering, recycling, and sustainably limiting wastes, at a point we decided as well to reconsider the way we were storing products as we were growing and facing the ineffectiveness and non-sustainability of our fragmented facilities. Le Petit Depot stores more than 8 thousand references!  

Choosing the right location for our new warehouse has been essential to improving operational efficiency and positive impact on the environment. Since July 2018, we have settled in an innovative and eco-friendly building to reduce our environmental footprint while improving energy saving. The Eco’ move has been our biggest financial commitment to sustainability so far! Controlled by the Singaporean government entity BCA, JTC FOOD HUB is awarded the Platinum green Award. The construction enables to keep strict control of energy expenditure (estimated savings of 9MkWh / year) and water costs (estimated savings of 27,736 m3 / year), as well as enhancing the efficiency of the water-cooling system. LED lighting and solar energy for the air conditioning system are also additional features that convinced us to choose this location. Therefore, we increased our storage capacity and productivity while reducing energy consumption. 


What other sustainable practices do you implement? 

Since the company creation, we ensure a tight and optimized logistical routine. We order what is needed to meet the demand to minimize storage and prevent waste. We also group orders to optimize transportation and avoid containers to travel partially empty. Delivery routes are also carefully planned to optimized transport time and energy consumption. Regarding the warehouse management, we ensure safe work conditions and proper training to provide the team with best-practices guidance for packing and preparing orders: handling the cold chain and product storage, enhanced packaging techniques to minimize breakage, using kraft paper to wrap bulk products. 






Interview with Thomas Wong, Operations Team Leader at Le Petit Depot, for FOCUS #74. To read more articles from this issue, download your digital copy here




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