UK: New sustainable supply chain scheme for Asda

Asda is expanding its supplier sustainability scheme, after it helped inspire innovations that saved the company £13m over the last 10 months.

The Sustain and Save Exchange Programme allows the retailer and its suppliers to share best practice and innovations in energy, waste, and water efficiency through a dedicated online portal.

It already covers a sixth of Asda's supply base and £3bn worth of products and will now be rolled out to all fresh, frozen, and chilled suppliers. The supermarket says the move will make it the biggest programme for supplier collaboration on resource efficiency and sustainability in the UK.

Through the scheme over 300 suppliers, including high profile names such as Youngs Seafood, Warburtons and Cranswick, will now be able to share best practices on how to address a range of sustainability issues, including closed-loop crop feeding, solar power installations, and waste segregation, with the ultimate aim of reducing the environmental impact of Asda's supply chain.

Barry Williams, Asda's Food Trading Director, said the company was looking to build a "world class supply base" for the future.

"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," he said.

"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. When you are part of the biggest retailer in the world, you have an opportunity – and a responsibility – to make a difference."

Asda claims to have saved £80m since 2005 by working to reduce its impact on the environment and calculates it is on course to deliver efficiencies of up to £800m by the end of the decade.

Over the past 12 months it has cut carbon emissions 4.3 per cent, taking it to an overall reduction of 17.7 per cent since 2005 – well past the 10 per cent target set for 2015.

In the same period around 93 per cent of its operational waste has been diverted from landfill, while all its food waste is recycled through various projects, including energy conversion programmes.

Meanwhile, the introduction of 130 new double decker trailers and depot store re-alignment have enabled a 40 per cent reduction in emissions from Asda's heavy goods fleet since 2005, with more than five per cent coming in the past year.


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