The figures are revealed in the Group's new Corporate Surplus Responsibility Report, which outlines the most ambitious period in its 50-year history. This includes the rapid expansion of its store network and national distribution infrastructure, with 5 new stores, and an increasing number of partners across different sectors including retail, manufacturing, hospitality, textiles, and food service.
The Group also continued to push the boundaries by extending the categories of surplus stock it could unlock, with the volume of non-food items (household, clothing, homeware) it redistributed increasing by over a quarter within the year.
2020 saw the Group upskilling the sector by inspiring industry leaders, through the launch of the Group's Luminary Programme, with delegates from global companies including Amazon, Coca-Cola and Unilever receiving mentoring support to help reduce unnecessary waste and prompt further innovation.
As part of the Group's rallying efforts to support the industry and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, it temporarily extended its membership criteria across its Company Shop stores to include almost all key workers as well as those on means-tested benefits. This resulted in members collectively saving over £64million on their shopping due to the deeply reduced prices of products.
The lifeline the Group provided to families during the last year through the work of its award-winning social enterprise, Community Shop, was also detailed. Community Shop provided essential food access and life-changing personal development support to thousands of families in low-income communities, including generating the equivalent of 30 million meals.
The Group, which is the UK's largest redistributor of surplus products, is now calling for even more businesses to implement sustainable and intelligent surplus management plans into their operations and respective supply chains.
The Report comes three months since the Group was acquired by Biffa, which positioned it strongly for future growth.
Steph McGinty, Managing Director of Company Shop Group, said: "The last year has been an extraordinary year for everyone, and despite the many challenges that came with it, I am immensely proud of what we have achieved working closely with our industry partners, colleagues, and the communities we are so proud to serve.
"We have continued to invest throughout our business, including significantly scaling up our national capacity with more stores and a second distribution centre. We have further developed our industry-leading capabilities and continued our pioneering efforts to educate and inspire our members and the industry about the economic, environmental and social value that can be generated through intelligent surplus management.
"We are also incredibly proud of the record numbers of individuals and families we have reached, through Company Shop and Community Shop, at a time when they have needed our provision more than ever.
"Looking ahead, our ambition remains the same and we will continue to deliver sustainable surplus solutions to our industry partners, and identify new opportunities to encourage people and the industry to rethink and reduce waste".
Other notable headline figures in the report included:
• The Group saved 28,073 tonnes of surplus from going to waste.
• It added 35,000 sq ft of additional processing, storage and distribution capacity to the business following the opening of its second Distribution Centre in Leicester.
• Community Shop helped 257,621 people to access virtual cook clubs and development programmes, keeping members engaged, connected and on track with development goals, despite the need to be physically distanced
• The Group created and distributed over 125,000 food and care parcels for the vulnerable and those shielding, which were tailored to specific requirements including dietary and those with new-born babies.
• Community Shop provided over 7,300 children with free access to food during the school holidays, with 31,542 families engaging with the holiday programmes.