Sainsbury's splashes £1bn on sustainability

10th November 2011


Sains

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  • Retail and wholesale ,
  • Food and drink ,
  • Stewardship ,
  • Life Cycle Analysis ,
  • Ecodesign

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IEMA

UK retailer Sainsbury's has outlined its plans to invest £1 billion by 2020 to improve its environmental and social impacts.

Alongside setting targets to reduce carbon emissions from its operations by 30% against 2005 levels, the food retailer has also pledged to ensure the carbon footprints of each of its own-brand products are halved.

Other pledges include ensuring raw materials and food products are independently verified as being sourced sustainably and reducing the amount of packaging it produces by 50%.

Chief executive Justin King said that the targets and investment were vital to ensuring the future of the company. “We do not see this plan as a luxury,” he explained.

The firm’s announcement came as other major UK food retailers announced new sustainability efforts. Asda has signed up to the Freight Transport Association’s Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme, to cut emissions from its transport network, while Waitrose confirmed that its second biomass plant will be operational in December – providing renewable electricity and heat to its Bracknell store, and cutting carbon emissions annually by 1,000 tonnes.

The spate of new initiatives is reflective of a wider move across the UK’s retail sector, according to Bob Gordon, environment policy adviser at the British Retail Consortium.

“Retailers are embracing sustainability, in recognition that operating sustainably means an efficient and profitable business today and over the longer term,” he said.

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