UK: Asda extends sustainability drive

By Katy Askew | 3 October 2012

UK supermarket operator Asda has unveiled plans to extend its sustainability partnership with suppliers after the group’s investment in sustainability generated an 85% increase in cost savings, which rose to GBP13m (US$20.9m) last year.

The Asda Sustain & Save Exchange is an online portal that allows Asda and its suppliers to share best practice, knowledge and innovations in energy, waste and water efficiency.

The initiative will now be extended to include all of Asda’s fresh, frozen and chilled suppliers. Through the scheme, over 300 suppliers - including Youngs Seafood, Warburtons and Cranswick - will all be able to share best practice across a range of sustainability issues, the Wal-Mart owned retailer said.

Asda said it is “on track” to deliver energy savings of GBP800m by 2020.

These savings are not only good for the bottom line, the environment and the retailer’s suppliers, but also Asda shoppers, the company emphasised.

“At Asda, our approach to sustainability is based on the belief that protecting the environment and saving people money go hand in hand. After all, wasting resources means wasting money – and we hate waste of any kind,” Julian Walker-Palin, head of corporate sustainability at Asda, said.

“Since 2005, our work to minimise the environmental impact of our operations has delivered over GBP80m in savings – which we have invested in delivering lower prices for our customers. Now, through our exchange programme, we can go even further, helping over 300 suppliers find efficiencies in energy, waste and water that can also help keep prices down."

Show the press release

ASDA CONTINUES STRONG PROGRESS ON SUSTAINABILITY WITH UK’S LARGEST SUPPLIER COLLABORATION PROJECT ON RESOURCE EFFICIENCY

 ·         Retailer expands Sustain & Save Exchange to all fresh, frozen and chilled suppliers, building on programme’s strong success to date

·         Return on sustainability investments grew 85% to £13 million last year, enabling greater savings to be passed across to consumers

·         Industry-leading carbon emissions reduction of 17.7 per cent since 2007, significantly exceeding original 2015 target

Asda today announced the expansion of its innovative Sustain & Save Exchange

Programme for suppliers, following the news that it has saved £13 million through sustainability innovations over the past year.

 Coupled with outstanding progress against its carbon reduction goals, these efficiencies are also enabling the company to pass increasing savings to its customers, delivering against its commitment as the UK’s best-value supermarket.

This groundbreaking scheme, which launched in early 2012, enables Asda and its suppliers to share knowledge and innovations in energy, waste and water efficiency through a dedicated online portal, managed by the 2degrees network.

A sixth of Asda’s total supplier base – responsible for more than £3 billion in products – are  chilled supply chains - making it the biggest programme for supplier collaboration on resource efficiency and sustainability in the UK.

Through the scheme, over 300 suppliers including Youngs Seafood, Warburtons and Cranswick will all be able to share best practice across a range of sustainability issues, including closed-loop crop feeding, solar power and waste segregation, all with the aim of improving the environmental impact of Asda’s entire supply chain.

The retailer, which operates over 500 stores across the UK, has been working towards challenging sustainability targets since 2005 and launched the Exchange to build on its outstanding progress to date.

Despite the addition of 150 stores acquired from Netto, absolute carbon emissions at Asda have, for example, fallen by over four per cent over the last 12 months, taking the total reduction to an industry-leading 17.7 per cent since 2007 - significantly exceeding its original 10 per cent target for 2015.

Waste to landfill was also reduced last year, with 93 per cent of the remaining waste – including all unsold food – now recycled through various projects, including energy conversion programmes.

In addition, the introduction of 130 new double decker trailers, depot store re-alignment and fleet reductions have helped eliminate over 18 million miles from the supply chain since 2005– the same as going to the moon and back 75 times.

The savings, which represent an £7 million increase on last year, mean that the retailer remains on course to deliver efficiencies of up to £800 million by 2020.

 Julian Walker-Palin, Head of Corporate Sustainability at Asda, comments:

“At Asda, our approach to sustainability is based on the belief that protecting the environment and saving people money go hand in hand.  After all, wasting resources means wasting money – and we hate waste of any kind”.

“Since 2005, our work to minimise the environmental impact of our operations has delivered over £80 million in savings – which we have invested in delivering lower prices for our customers. Now, through our exchange programme, we can go even further, helping over 300 suppliers find efficiencies in energy, waste and water that can also help keep prices down”.

Barry Williams, Asda’s Food Trading Director, puts it in perspective:

“The Sustain & Save Exchange is an important Asda programme. We want to work together with our supplier partners so we can learn from each other to increase our efficiencies and resilience to the growing challenges of resource scarcity.

“At Asda, we want to build a world class supply base for the future, so we’ll be working with the most proactive suppliers on this agenda to explore how we will continue to support each other for the future. For us, sustainability isn’t about reinventing the wheel – it’s just what we do. It’s also part of what Walmart – our global family - does. And when you are part of the biggest retailer in the world, you have an opportunity – and a responsibility – to make a difference.”

Sarah Miskell External Affairs Director of Warburtons said:

 “ The Exchange is really good for sharing best practice; it’s a good networking opportunity. We talk about our learnings in sustainability – we’re all learning and we don’t necessarily know all the answers, so it’s good to hear from other people in the group.”

Original source: Asda

Sectors: Chilled foods, Dairy, Fresh produce, Frozen, Ice cream, Meat & poultry, Multichannel, Retail, Seafood, Snacks, Sustainability & the environment

Companies: Asda, Warburtons, Cranswick

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