Smart Vending for a sustainable planet - Can vending machines help reduce carbon footprint?



Global decarbonisation is an uphill battle, a fact that was underlined and discussed by major economies from around the world as they made commitments during the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (COP26) in 2021. And industries, including retail, will have to play an important role in building a lasting solution for a sustainable planet.


Smart Vending Technology can be one the harbingers of this change in the retail industry, with smart unmanned retail helping the FMCG sector reduce their carbon footprint while becoming more accessible to end users.


Read on to learn how.


Reduce food wastage with vNetra


Studies have shown that if food waste was a country, it would be the third-highest emitter of greenhouse gases on the list of countries with high carbon footprints. With smart solutions for vending products, especially food items, businesses can play a crucial role in sustainability.


vNetra, Vendekin's Google Cloud powered, GDPR compliant, AI/ML driven back office vending management software, is a step forward in smart vending technology by digitising the supply chain or backend vending operations. Through the vNetra software, inventory of all active machines can be tracked on a single platform. This means knowing in advance, which machines have perishable goods close to their sell-by date. Knowing in advance can help plan the sales of these items with a shorter shelf-life. At the same time, on restocking rounds only items with a sell-by date need to be refilled. This helps reduce product wastage.


Reduce fuel emissions with digital inventory management


Having a centralised system to track the inventory of all vending machines, retailers or vending machine operators can be aware of their exact inventory at all times. No matter where the vending machines are or where the vending operators are.


Machines have to be restocked based on product inventory and expiration date. The frequency of refilling vending machines depends on the frequency of consumption by consumers and the perishable nature of the products. If certain machines require frequent refilling trips, restocking them can be optimised by planning more refills in a single restocking trip, to ensure less fuel is burned and fewer emissions released into the environment.


vNetra provides a centralised inventory management feature to operators and businesses, which helps them effectively save time and money by taking appropriate decisions in regards to restocking.


Saving on energy usage


Departmental stores, supermarkets, showrooms and restaurants require a lot of energy, in the form of air conditioning, refrigeration, lighting, maintenance etc, to run their operations. Each of these devices could be run for an upward of 10 hours each day on average.


In a study conducted by the US Environmental Protection Agency 3 years ago, it was found that on an average food retailers used up to 552 kWh energy per square metre annually! Of this 48% was used up for refrigeration. Non-food retailers with no refrigeration facility used up 173 kWh energy per square metre annually. An average store on a main street is about 100 square metres and above. Do the maths. Retail outlets with no refrigeration facility use up to 17300 kWh electricity every year! While those with refrigeration facilities may use upward of 55200 kWh energy every year.


On the contrary, a typical refrigerated vending machine uses only about 4400 kWh annually. Due to more efficient cooling and smaller square footage, vending machines use less energy to operate despite being plugged into a power source 24x7.


With smart vending machines, brands and operators can place their unmanned vending machine at places with high footfall all over the city, effectively taking their store to the customer without spending big on building brick and mortar stores to expand, and wasting lesser energy in its operations.


Brands like Naturals Ice cream, Sheetal Foods, Haldiram’s, etc have already joined the vending revolution by getting the best vending machines in India installed and powered by Vendekin Technologies across various locations. These machines are energy efficient and offer completely touchless vending solutions in India.


Reverse Vending


Reverse vending is a unique system in the vending ecosystem that is playing an important role in reducing the amount of plastic that ends up in waste and encouraging people to recycle. A 'reverse vending machine' (RVM) collects empty and used bottles or cans, and provides some kind of product or reward in return from the vending machine. This can help reduce and recycle plastic products.


Vendekin is also working on ‘reverse vending machines’ for recycling various products. In a recent interview with Hindustan Times, Vendekin’s founder Aroon Khatter said that Vendekin is working with a Swedish company to collect plastic bottles for recycling. Users will put plastic bottles in the machine and get money in return. He added that they are digitising the entire process to connect the payback to the consumer into their digital wallet or send it to the royalty program of the retailer. Reverse vending promises to have a huge potential for recycling in India in the years to come.


Brands and businesses that are looking towards expanding their reach in the market without adding to the already alarming rate of carbon footprint must opt for smart vending solutions. This is an opportunity for brands to contribute to the sustainability of the planet and improve their sustainability credentials.


Vendekin Technologies is helping companies worldwide in these efforts by providing smart, unmanned vending solutions to various local brands and vending operators with the best vending machines in India.


Check out the various touchless vending solutions provided by Vendekin. Or if you have more questions, reach out to Vendekin at marketing@vendekin.com or +91 9555712713.