Sustainability, according to a report by Círculo Fortuny published in June 2021, influences the purchases of six out of ten consumers, who also claim that it is part of the entire value chain. A circular sustainability that not only redounds to the environment, but also to employees, customers, suppliers and local communities, something well known to those who manage and are part of the Chamberí Market. Managed by the merchants association, its decisions and consensus throughout 75 years of history have managed to lead the market to be what it is today, a combination of tradition and innovation., which preserves the essence of the past looking towards a future, of course, sustainable.
Under this premise, Juan Carlos Sevilla, market manager for almost a decade, points out that the changes made today respond to the profile of the new consumer: «Promoting policies that contribute to a socio-environmental improvement is essential for us. We are from the neighborhood and we watch over the neighborhood. During the last years we have bet and put in value the proximity, the quality and the personalized attention that the traditional markets offer in front of the competition in prices of the big surfaces; We have made a great financial effort to modernize our facilities to accommodate businesses and activities related to restaurants, health and leisure; We have been pioneers in our sector in selling ‘online’, and this is how we have demonstrated it to our clients during confinement, and, totime, we have to be committed, at the same level as any large company in our country, in the task of making a better and more sustainable world.
To realize this last purpose, it is found immersed in a circular economy pilot project launched by the General Directorate of Economy of the Madrid City Council, together with the Polytechnic University, to promote a change in the management of waste from municipal markets.
“Every day –explains Sevilla– thousands and thousands of kilos of fresh products arrive on the market, packed in highly polluting plastic or polystyrene boxes and, which until now, were going to a common compactor; nur goal is to raise awareness and involve all of us –managers, merchants and consumers– in the task of changing habits and promoting a common strategy focused on minimizing the damage that our waste generates in the environment, in addition to promoting responsible consumption through daily actions by customers such as the use of glass jars, tins, or paper bags, options to reduce plastics ». For now, the project will materialize in a first investment of about 15,000 euros by the market for the purchase and installation of two compacting machines, one made of cardboard and one made of polystyrene, and in the commitment to consider sustainable development as part of its market strategy.
But in addition, the market goes beyond mandatory compliance with current environmental regulations and, among other initiatives, has given a space to the City Council for the installation of a clean recycling multipoint, for use by neighbors and customers of the food center; has set up an oil collection point, managed by the El Olivar association – which develops different projects with young homeless people in vulnerable situations.
A sum of small gestures that demonstrates the commitment of traditional commerce to nurture the well-being of people and our planet.