Sainsbury's unveils major supply chain sustainability initiative

13 October 2011

Posted by Michelle Devonshire

A new plan for the coming decade has been unveiled by Sainsbury's aimed at reducing the impact of its operations on the environment.

The £1 billion strategy is entitled the 'Sainsbury's 20 by 20 Sustainability Plan' and it outlines ways in which the company can achieve a 30 per cent drop in carbon emissions over the period in question, with a view to raising this to 50 per cent by 2030.

A series of 20 targets have been set in the document across four key areas, including environmental management, communities and operational excellence, with the firm planning to employ carbon-saving technology across its stores in order to drive down emissions.

David Cameron, the Prime Minister, praised the move by Sainsbury's, declared that "it is a great example of the principles of Every Business Commits".

Sainsbury's Chief Executive, Justin King, said: "Given the scale of our business, we believe these 20 commitments represent the most ambitious sustainability targets in our industry."

Goals set by the chain include boosting sales of British produce and Fairtrade products in line with corporate social responsibility commitments, as well as items such as RSPCA Freedom Food goods and MSC certified fish.

Under its operational excellence targets, the supermarket is examining ways to improve waste management and further reduce packaging, while also working closely with suppliers to ensure carbon reductions take place throughout the supply chain.

The extensive Sainsbury's supply chain covers a network of 934 stores, along with its internet-based home delivery shopping service. It has a total workforce of more than 150,000.

Efforts to improve supply chain sustainability have also been announced by motor company Ford, which has revealed it is increasing its programme for measuring the carbon footprint of suppliers, with a view to reducing the total environmental impact of its operations.

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