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Retailers commit to reducing environmental impact

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Retailers The Co-operative Group and Sainsbury’s as well as brand Nestle have committed to improving their environmental performance with the guidance of government body WRAP’s Product Sustainability Forum, it has been announced today.

Research released by the organisation looking into the product waste, greenhouse gas emissions and resource use of traditional grocery products revealed that items including potatoes and bread offer “significant opportunities for improvements”.

All three companies have now committed to piloting the Forum’s ‘pathfinder’s’ projects to establish the best areas for environmental savings in order to “generate the biggest economic and environmental savings”, according to CEO of WRAP and Chair of the Product Sustainability Forum Dr Liz Goodwin.

Mutual retail & services business The Co-operative Group and Nestle are to concentrate their efforts on waste prevention and resource efficiency measures across potato, milk and chocolate supply chains, while grocer Sainsbury’s will focus on meat, fish and poultry products and produce.

In order to identity possible opportunities, The Co-operative is engaging internal stakeholders across its fresh potato value chain in order to implement new practices and boost efficiency.

“We are very pleased to be able to bring expertise from across our retail and farming businesses to this project,” The Co-operative’s Environment Manager Iain Ferguson said.

“This will allow us to identify areas where we can make environmental savings while still delivering great quality products.

“The work aligns perfectly with the aims of our Ethical Plan, in which we committed to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and energy usage, supporting and developing green energy and reducing waste throughout our business.”

Reducing its environmental impact and improving its sustainability is a crucial part of Sainsbury’s long-term strategy since its 20x20 Sustainability plan was launched in 2011 and this latest commitment further cements the retailer’s interest in the issue.

Sainsbury’s Print and Packaging Manager Stuart Lendrum explained: “Reducing our impact on the environment is fundamental to our long-term sustainability and we are delighted to be part of this invaluable project.

“Its overall aim is closely aligned with the targets we have set ourselves in our 20x20 Plan and working in collaboration throughout the supply chain with a shared goal of making a real impact supports the way we work with our dedicated British suppliers.”

Published on Wednesday 13 March by Editorial Assistant

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