Breede River Restoration:  Woolworths and WWF’s Breede Catchment Water Stewardship programme has resulted in 200 million litres of water being released into the catchment on a yearly basis. Image source: WC Government Dept Agriculture,

WWF South Africa and Woolworths have announced Phase III of their broad-based, multi-year, multifaceted partnership, which aims to drive greater sustainability and build resilience through Woolworths’ business operations and value chains. 

Woolworths was the first retailer to partner with WWF on their sustainability journey over 15 years ago. The partnership has evolved from a bilateral agreement in 2008 into a transformational partnership that works steadily and successfully with suppliers and customers to develop a culture of sustainability all the way through the Woolworths value chain. 

Woolworths and WWF recognise that nature loss is a business risk and the current ways in which we feed, fuel and finance societies and economies, needs redefining, ingenuity and resources to bring about systemic changes with impact at scale. This collaboration will continue to create shared value by leveraging the passion, skills, influence and networks of both organisations to further drive retail operations that are kinder to both the planet and to people, shifting towards a nature-positive future. The goal of the partnership is to impact broader systemic change.  

Phases I and II of the partnership have helped catalyse the strategic water source partnership in the Groot Winterhoek and included driving collective action in Ceres with Woolworths fruit suppliers, through the Breede Catchment Water Stewardship programme. Woolworths is also the leading retailer working towards achieving its sustainable seafood commitments through the WWF-Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative programme.  The full report on the achievements of the previous partnership phases, is available on WWF’s website, here.

This partnership brings together significant technical expertise, research capabilities and industry insights and will focus on water, carbon, biodiversity and natural resources (including marine resources).  The partnership will work towards strengthening current efforts and strategies focusing on reducing the environmental impact in the agricultural supply chain, improving water stewardship and community benefits, and decreasing food loss/waste. 

Commenting on the partnership, Feroz Koor, Woolworths Head of Sustainability, says: “We are very excited to be moving into the next five-year phase of our partnership with WWF South Africa, solidifying our commitment to sustainability and our shared vision for a nature-positive future. Over the years, this collaboration has been instrumental to the success of our Good Business Journey. Our renewed partnership is a testament to our dedication to creating a more inclusive and sustainable society.”

Pavitray Pillay, Environmental Behaviour Change Lead and WWF SASSI Manager for the WWF, added: “The partnership with Woolworths is a key achievement aligned with our strategic goal of creating nature positive economies. It is a perfect fit with WWF’s strategy of creating a future where people and nature thrive by working with influential companies and their value chains to improve the way products are produced, processed and consumed.”

“The confirmation of another five-year agreement is a clear demonstration of how Woolworths is continuing to lead the charge for sustainable retail in South Africa and on the African continent as a whole.” 

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