The UK's leading food and consumer goods companies have today (8 October) claimed success in reducing the environmental impact of transporting their goods across the country.

Companies including Asda, Kellogg and United Biscuits last year signed up to the IGD's Efficient Consumer Response (ECR UK) initiative designed to encourage more "sustainable distribution" of food and groceries.

ECR UK said that through measures such as sharing vehicles and more efficient warehousing, the project has exceeded its targeted saving of 48 million miles and has removed 53m miles from the country's roads.

IGD president and Nestlé UK chief executive Alastair Sykes said: "These results are a significant achievement for the food industry and demonstrate the determination that exists among manufacturers and retailers to minimise our environmental impact.

"There will always be a need to transport food and grocery items from producers to shoppers, but there is certainly scope to do this more efficiently. This initiative has helped us achieve significant environmental and financial benefits. We are confident it will set the standard for future projects to improve the sustainability of our industry."

The savings have been generated through a mix of internal projects, and external partnerships between retailers and suppliers.