Held in partnership with Dubai Sports Council, Spinneys and Dubai 92, The Spinneys Dubai 92 Cycle Challenge is one of the Middle East’s premium sporting races, regularly attracting thousands of riders from all over the world. In line with the Year of Sustainability, Spinneys has invited registered participants to contribute to a goal of planting 2,500 trees by converting kilometers cycled during the Spinneys Dubai 92 Cycle Challenge events with Active Giving.
As participants strive to achieve a collective goal of reaching 2,500 trees by the conclusion of the Build-Up Rides, together, everyone’s pedaling power becomes a force for positive environmental change. Registered riders who wish to take part are encouraged to join Team Spinneys. With a simple step of downloading the Active Giving App and using the provided special code, riders can become an essential member of a meaningful collective effort.
After Build-Up Ride 1 on Oct 1st they have successfully collected their first 313 trees, with just 134 Team Spinneys members.
We had the chance to discuss with Caroline Corr | Spinneys Brand & Campaign Manager, about the importance of sustainability for the future of Spinneys. Find our conversation below.
AG : How important is the topic of sustainability at SpinneysUAE?
CC: At Spinneys, we treat sustainability as a key pillar of our business now and for the future. Under our sustainability strategy ‘Let’s Do Better Together’, we have made significant commitments to reduce our impact on the environment in all areas of the business, as well as striving to educate future generations on the importance of sustainable practices in food.
We are aware that we have a lot of work to do to become a truly sustainable organisation, but we are taking the steps to make this a possibility with initiatives in the areas of recycled and biodegradable packaging, food waste and plastic reduction, youth education and renewable energy sources.
AG: What are the main concrete actions that SpinneysUAE are leading in terms of sustainability?
CC : We’ve been working hard to create a formal sustainability plan for 2030 that is aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals agenda. In the lead up to that, we have proven our commitment to leading in sustainability through several initiatives.
Spinneys Layan – our first ever sustainable concept store: This concept store, opened in 2021, was designed with sustainability at the forefront – with refill options for groceries and household options, solar panels for obtaining a renewable energy source for the store, and multiple beehives on the roof to contribute to the health of the environment just to name a few.
Spinneys Farm to Table – our educational school programme: We have developed and operate a programme for educating the children of the UAE about nutrition. Currently in 70+ schools around the country, teachers are trained to deliver modules such as where our food comes from, how it’s produced – locally and internationally; how it reaches the UAE; and what healthy eating means. Healthy eating and understanding the food chain, is central to building sustainability into the future of the food industry and society overall.
Recycling with RECAPP: A new partnership with RECAPP, allows us to offer shoppers incentives for returning recyclable items such as plastic bottles, metal cans, and tins to our stores. As the first retailer in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to provide in-store collection points, we aim to make recycling in the country more effortless, sustainable, and rewarding.
Single-use plastic reduction: Plastic use within our business has reduced dramatically and will continue to do so throughout our supply chain and service counters. We have just replaced all single-use cutlery in our deli counters with locally sourced Palmade cutlery made from sustainable palm tree leaves, that is fully biodegradable. We have also moved a significant amount of our product packaging from PET into recycled PET, a more sustainable option which can be recycled again. We are no longer distributing plastic bags, and our reusable and paper shopping bags, are made from recycled materials.
Food Waste Reduction: To tackle food waste, we redistribute unsold food to our partners in the UAE, working closely with the UAE Food Bank. We also launched our ‘Naturally Imperfect’ range of fruits and vegetables, where we sell items that would normally go to waste at a reduced price. Perfectly delicious and nutritious, just with a naturally imperfect shape. We are partnered with the Dubai Municipality to continue to educate customers in stores on sustainable practices for reducing food waste daily.
AG : How did you hear about Active Giving?
CC : We have been aware of Active Giving for a long time having seen many of the great partnerships and campaigns carried out in previous years. The ethos of ‘Do better for yourself and for the planet’ aligns very closely with who we are at Spinneys and we felt that a partnership for our Spinneys Dubai 92 Cycle Challenge would be the perfect opportunity to contribute more positive actions to the world around us.
AG: What is the goal of your TEAM (community challenge) on Active Giving?
CC: We believe in the importance and power of community at Spinneys. ‘Let’s Do Better Together’ is engrained in our identity and we are always searching to find new ways of engaging and inspiring our community to protect our planet.
Using the growing audience of the Spinneys Dubai 92 Cycle Challenge, we wanted to take the opportunity to encourage plant trees for all kilometres cycled during the event series. There is meaningful impact behind our community challenge, and we would like to achieve 2500 trees to be planted by the main event on February 24th, 2024.
We also had the chance to discuss withSamantha Cadwallader, Marketing & Community Outreach Manager at World Sport Arabia, The person who inspired this collaboration. She accepted to answer our questions :
AG : What important actions should cycling events take to become more sustainable?
SC : Cycling events can look to form strategic partnerships with venue locations that operate sustainable initiatives and are centrally located for easy access via public transport. For our 14th Edition, Spinneys Dubai 92 Cycle Challenge has partnered with Expo City Dubai, which integrates environmental and social responsibility into the City’s operations and events. They have a zero single-use plastics policy, offering water stations at multiple locations and encouraging the use of reusable water bottles and cups.
Events teams can also look to employ sustainable practices throughout their event process, such as choosing woodfree paper, natural dyes or eco-friendly, biodegradable options, go for recycled materials for medals and minimize paper by shifting to a digital approach. Today, many event organizers are also providing a choice to pay for the event t-shirt and merchandise rather than producing thousands of excess items for ‘the crowds’ that are often unwanted and end up in landfills. Sourcing products locally, having a proper waste management programme and providing options for recycling at events, in addition to selecting suppliers who use compostable or recyclable packaging are also a few keys ways to help reduce the negative impact on the planet and society.
AG: What are simple ways for cyclists to incorporate more eco-responsibility into their daily lives (while still enjoying the sport of running to the fullest)?
- Reduce plastic consumption by refilling at water stations and using reusable bottles/cups.
- Participate in fun, sustainable programmes like Active Giving, whereby they do good naturally and with minimal extra effort – contributing by simply doing something they enjoy.
- Be eco-conscious, mindful of creating waste and take part in green initiatives and recycling programmes introduced by events.
- Car pool and use public transport where possible to get to events.
- Adjust their expectations to support choices that take steps to reduce plastic consumption and are good for protecting the planet.
AG : Is the future of cycling « green »?
SC : Going green can often be a real challenge for event organizers that want to provide that personalized athlete experience and need to balance sponsorship commitments, but it is not impossible to do better. Thankfully, the future is definitely greener and moving in the right direction, so we sure hope so.
Stay tuned with the next BUILD-UP RIDE.
Build-Up Ride 2: 45km – Sunday, 29 October 2023
Build-Up Ride 3: 65km – Sunday, 3 December 2023
Build-Up Ride 4: 85km – Sunday, 28 January 2024
Spinneys Dubai 92 Cycle Challenge Main Event (UCI Dubai Gran Fondo): 92km – Sunday, 25 February 2024
To join Team Spinneys, please check your registration confirmation email for details and if you haven’t yet signed up for our Build-Up Ride events, then register today and together let’s pedal our way to a healthier lifestyle while preserving our precious planet.