Report: UK Retailers making significant progress around carbon emissions, water management and waste reduction

LONDON, 2016-Mar-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — UK Retailers on course to meet ambitious 2020 environmental targets

Report shows industry making significant progress around carbon emissions, water management and waste reduction

1 March 2016

Britain’s retailers are on track to meet ambitious voluntary targets to cut the environmental impact of their operations, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC)’s latest progress report on its ‘A Better Retailing Climate’ (ABRC) initiative(1). This progress is notwithstanding an increasingly challenging business environment for retailers, driven by a range of factors such as: increasing resource scarcity, commodity price fluctuation, and changing shopping habits.

Some of the achievements to date by ABRC’s participating retailers as detailed in the progress report include:

– Cutting in-store carbon emissions by 35 per cent*, relative to growth, as well as working with suppliers to cut carbon emissions across their supply chains by sharing best practice via information exchange mechanisms
– Reducing greenhouse gas emissions arising from refrigeration by 50 per cent*
– Increasing the measurement of water usage to 91 per cent* and working with farms and factories to develop more sustainable water management practices throughout their supply chains
– Ensuring that 91 per cent of their palm oil is sustainably sourced
– Working with farmers and producer groups to reduce food waste and losses in agriculture by reviewing current product specifications and introducing ‘smarter’ ways to forecast (2)
*All figures are against 2005 levels when ABRC was launched

BRC Director of Food and Sustainability Andrew Opie said: “A Better Retailing Climate clearly demonstrates that creating and maintaining sustainable supply chains is at the heart of retail businesses. We fully appreciate the positive role we can play with suppliers and consumers in meeting head on challenges of climate change and resource efficiency. We are confident that we will meet by the year 2020, the ambitious voluntary targets we’ve set for ourselves.”

Please follow the link to access the full report: BRC A Better Retailing Climate Progress Report

– ENDS –

1. Launched in 2008, ‘A Better Retailing Climate’ is a voluntary initiative created by a group of leading retailers (representing half of the UK retail market) which sets out collective environmental impact targets, all of which were not only met but exceeded by 2013. A new set of targets were agreed in 2014, all of which are to be met by 2020. Today’s progress report is the latest assessment of progress made by the participants in meeting those targets.
2. As part of the A Better Retailing Climate initiative, in October 2015 the BRC published a combined retail food waste figure for 2014. This figure was published in a report which also details the practical steps supermarkets are taking to reduce food waste in the supply chain, in store and at home. For more detail see: BRC Food Waste Report


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