Britain's retailers on track to meet ambitious environmental goals

Bild: Andrew Opie

Andrew Opie, BRC Director of Food and Sustainability. (© British Retail Consortium)


The latest report from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) confirms Britain's retailers are on course to meet ambitious voluntary targets to reduce the direct environmental impact of their operations.

The figures and case studies, which form part of the BRC's progress report on the industry initiative A Better Retailing Climate (ABRC) show how retailers are working in partnership with suppliers and customers to make significant progress including lowering energy usage in buildings, cutting emissions from refrigeration, diverting waste from landfill and reporting on food waste.

Last year the participants in ABRC, who include Britain's leading retailers, agreed on a new range of targets to be met by 2020 after meeting original targets. Today's progress report highlights progress made against those targets to date by retailers such as:

- A 13 per cent reduction in absolute carbon emissions from retail operations against a target of 25 per cent by 2020

- A 34 per cent reduction in carbon emissions resulting from store deliveries against a target of 45 per cent by 2020

Retailers know they need to work with suppliers and consumers to achieve more reductions as the majority of environmental impacts arise from the production and consumption of products.

BRC Director of Food and Sustainability Andrew Opie said: "Retailers continue to lead the way in reducing the impact of the products they sell and adapting to the challenges of climate change. This shows we can meet the ambitious targets to reduce environmental impact by 2020 when we invest in our supply chain and work closely with consumers."

In an industry first earlier this month the BRC published food waste figures for the retail industry which showed that retailers are responsible for just 1.3 per cent of all food wasted along the food chain, with the majority coming from within the household. Today's progress report provides concrete examples of supermarket initiatives to help their customers reduce food waste in the home such as consumer campaigns to raise awareness of the impact of food waste, offering tips on storage and making better use of leftovers and trialling innovative packaging solutions to increase the shelf life of a product.

The progress report can be found here.

Source: British Retail Consortium