Look and comment: problems of today’s society
Pollution, inequality, bad nutrition… Every day we are confronted with situations that influence our lives directly and to which we do not usually react, to some extent, because we have become used to living with them. But is it possible to act to solve them?
TOPIC OF THE MONTH1 March 2017
WHAT DO WE WORRY ABOUT?
According to the latest indicator by the CIS (Centre for Sociological Research), unemployment, corruption and financial matters are the main worries of the Spanish, followed by politics, education and social problems.
And what should we do about it? As for a personal problem, there are two ways out: letting it go or trying to solve it; in situations that concern the population we can do the same. It is our decision to present ourselves before the circumstances actively or passively.
We are used to individualist attitudes that prioritise actions and elements which help us to achieve personal success with a minimum effort, but we do not stop to think about which small individual actions could help us towards collective achievements.
PROBLEMS OF TODAY’S SOCIETY
Reconciling family and work
Last December, the Ministry for Health, Social Services and Equality announced its intention to create a national pact to reconcile and rationalise working hours, which would involve among other things, making the working day finish at 6 pm. In relation to this, a report by the IESE business school concludes that companies which do reconcile achieve 19% more productivity and 30% less work absenteeism.
In fact, almost half of workers consider reconciling professional and personal life as key when choosing a job, according to the latest report by Randstad.
Our contribution: from the 1st of January Consum has increased to 6 weeks the paid paternity leave, two more than as stipulated by the law. In this way, the Cooperative has improved the conditions of leave for birth, adoption or fostering already in place, set to 4 weeks from December 2009.
The benefits of consuming local products directly influence the minimisation of environmental impact, as transport vehicles generate very high CO2 emissions, which can be reduced by consuming more local products. Also, this encourages the local economy, enables to know the origin of the food you buy, and ensures it is fresh when you eat it.
Our contribution: via Consum’s Social Responsibility Policy, the Cooperative works to stimulate local economical development, both via purchases to local suppliers (99,6% are national and 65,3% of communities where it is present), and by opening new supermarkets and creating new jobs.
Energy saving and efficiency
According to a study by the IDAE (Institute for the Diversification and Saving of Energy), 20% of energy consumed in Spain comes from domestic homes. Detached houses consume twice as much as flats, and the average cost per habitant is 990 euros a year. Heating consumes the most, representing half the total consumption per home.
Our contribution: the implementation of eco-efficient supermarkets, with automatically regulated refrigerators, efficient fans, LED lights or glass doors in the frozen section, among others, enable to consume 30% less energy than a conventional supermarket. Also, the logistic processes, such as origin transport and another series of actions included in the Energy Saving and Efficiency Plan, have enabled the Cooperative to reduce its carbon footprint by 2,6% in the last year.
Of total food wastage, 42% happens in homes, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment. In 86% of homes, leftover food is thrown away, of which 64% are deteriorated products that we have bought and not stored well or which we have left to spoil.
Our contribution: ‘Profit’, Consum’s programme for responsible food management, which enables to utilise food that is removed from sale but still apt for consumption, avoided the wastage of 4,000 tonnes of food in 2015. Also, thanks to this 4.110,66 tonnes of CO2 were not emitted, which minimised the impact on the environment.
Collaborative consumption advocates for the use of the same product by several people, optimising its use, satisfying the same needs, but reducing the number of products in circulation, which also contributes towards protecting the environment. Ultimately, it is based on a philosophy that cooperatives naturally carry in their DNA.
Our contribution: Consum, as a polyvalent cooperative made up of associate workers and associate customers, enables them to take part in the capital, management and results, as owners.