Shops slash landfill waste

A new progress report shows that retailers have beaten a range of challenging targets for reducing their impact on the environment.

The A Better Retailing Climate progress report launched today by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) shows that retailers went above and beyond industry-leading commitments to reduce their waste, energy and water usage in 2012.

The sector is also on track with ambitious goals to reduce the environmental impact of customers in the supply chain, in areas including packaging and food waste in the home.

This is the latest assessment against commitments set by the BRC’s A Better Retailing Climate initiative. Set up in 2008, it committed businesses representing the majority of the UK retail market to sector-wide green goals.

A Better Retailing Climate also makes recommendations to Government to help drive further progress. These include developing more forward-looking and consistent policies for carbon reduction, and implementing provisions in the 2012 draft Water Bill to enable businesses to choose their water suppliers. The BRC is also calling for EU regulations governing the shape and size of fruit and vegetables to be relaxed further so that more ‘wonky veg’ can be sold in stores.

British Retail Consortium environment policy adviser Alice Ellison said: “This update demonstrates that the retail industry is going above and beyond in its commitments to reducing its environmental impact across all aspects of its operations. Despite the downturn and other challenges affecting business, retailers are continuing to innovate and collaborate in this space, which delivers real environmental benefits as well as value for their customers.

“We want to keep this momentum going past the 2008 commitments, so our next step is setting new targets to build on this progress and continue to invest in protecting the planet.”

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