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Sustainability News in Retail

Sustainability News in Retail

Sustainability Mar 4, 2024 at 8:43am

Completely Retail Marketplace looks at the latest Sustainability News from the world of retail.

Consumers are consciously choosing to buy from brands that commit to sustainability. Nowadays, going green is about more than just having recycling stations in store or asking customers to recycle their shopping bags. Sustainability allows brands to better connect with their customers and do their bit for the planet. Retailers are increasing their efforts by reengineering their stores and finding creative new ways to help the planet.

Read the below Snapshot blog post to gain further insight into the latest sustainability news in retail.

Sustainability news in retail

M&S expands 'Refilled' program across the UK

M&S has expanded its 'Refilled' program to an additional 19 stores, including its recently opened flagship in Liverpool One, following a successful trial at six locations in 2022.

In collaboration with Reposit, the initiative aims to bolster the retail giant's sustainability efforts by reducing and eliminating plastic packaging, specifically focusing on their own-brand cleaning and laundry products.

Customers now have the option to select from a range of 10 pre-filled own-brand household items, such as cleaning sprays, laundry detergents, fabric conditioners, and washing-up soap.

Shoppers are required to pay a £2 fee for the returnable bottle; however, upon returning it, they receive a voucher of equal value that can be used toward a subsequent purchase from the Refilled range. M&S reports that 10,000 customers have already engaged with the program, with an anticipated removal of approximately 150,000 plastic pieces with this expansion.

This initiative aligns with the company's goal of eliminating 1 billion units of plastic packaging by 2027 as part of its commitment to achieving net zero emissions by 2040.

Recent discussions within the UK government have suggested the possibility of banning plastic packaging for fruits and vegetables in supermarkets, aiming to encourage a return to traditional, less wasteful methods. Proposed regulations would require grocers to offer more loose produce options, reducing both food and packaging waste.

Unilever has introduced its first regenerative agriculture initiative in the UK, collaborating with farms that cultivate ingredients for Colman’s products

Initially launching across mustard and mint farms in the vicinity of Norwich and Peterborough, the new Unilever project spans a four-year timeline, with the first crop set to be sown around March 2024.

These farms will experiment with novel regenerative agriculture techniques, encompassing the use of low-carbon fertilisers, innovative crop nutrition methods, planting cover and companion crops to diminish pesticide reliance, adopting advanced digital water irrigation scheduling systems, and minimising cultivation.

The multinational consumer goods corporation has partnered with these farms to gather and establish data, devising a framework to evaluate the impact of these practices over time. Data collection will focus on parameters such as soil health, fertiliser utilisation, biodiversity, water efficiency, carbon footprint reduction, as well as effects on yields and farm profitability.

Andre Burger, Head of Nutrition for Unilever UK and Ireland, emphasised the significance of nurturing healthy soil in the wake of the ongoing climate crisis. He highlighted the necessity for businesses to not only preserve but also rejuvenate the soil and farmland vital for cultivating the crops and ingredients essential to daily consumption.

Colman’s, a beloved British condiment brand, stands to benefit from this new regenerative agriculture initiative, safeguarding the sustainable supply chain and future of the flavorful ingredients sourced from these farms.

Unilever's broader strategic roadmap outlines its commitment to investing in regenerative agriculture practices across 1.5 million hectares of land and forests by 2030, thereby bolstering food security and enhancing supply chain resilience through sustainable agricultural raw material sourcing.

sustainability News In Retail

Jimmy’s Iced Coffee has successfully implemented zero tree packaging cartons across its entire e-commerce product range

This innovative solution, provided by packaging supplier Raw Packaging, utilises agricultural by-products that would otherwise be discarded, effectively repurposing them to reduce waste.

The utilisation of this packaging not only helps to combat deforestation but also significantly decreases carbon emissions typically associated with conventional packaging production methods. Ben Nethersole, Head of Operations at Jimmy’s, emphasised the importance of transitioning to packaging derived from crop waste, highlighting its role in reshaping perceptions about material sourcing and its crucial contribution to preserving the Earth's ecosystems.

Moreover, this environmentally conscious approach plays a pivotal role in mitigating climate change by substantially reducing carbon emissions.

The adoption of zero tree packaging aligns seamlessly with the brand's ethos of promoting sustainable consumption. It further reinforces Jimmy’s commitment to combat deforestation, minimise carbon footprints, and cater to a broader audience by embracing sustainable practices.

Nethersole expressed optimism that integrating zero tree packaging into their e-commerce offerings would resonate strongly with environmentally conscious consumers. This initiative serves as a testament to Jimmy’s dedication to making responsible decisions throughout its business operations while appealing to those who prioritise eco-friendly alternatives.

Tesco is introducing the UK’s first tubeless kitchen foil, aiming to eliminate the production of 12.5 million cardboard rolls annually

This coreless aluminium foil will debut in stores this week, furthering the supermarket chain's commitment to reducing unnecessary packaging and preserving 330 tonnes of cardboard each year.

The revamped product is manufactured using an innovative machine capable of tightly wrapping the foil around a spindle equipped with air vents. By introducing air into these vents, the aluminum foil can be released gently.

Bronwen Williams, Technical Manager at Tesco, lauded the advancements in foil production facilitated by this new machine, emphasizing its role in preventing the unnecessary production of hundreds of tonnes of cardboard.

She stated, “We are continuously exploring methods to minimise packaging to benefit the environment. Beginning with our top-selling kitchen foil line, we aspire to extend this innovation across our entire foil range.”

This initiative is part of Tesco's 4Rs packaging strategy aimed at addressing the impact of packaging waste. Since 2020, Tesco has reduced packaging by over 4,500 tonnes.

Additionally, Tesco recently introduced a new line of toilet paper and kitchen towels crafted from recycled cardboard and recycled pulp sourced from home delivery boxes and corrugated card. This production process consumes less water, chemicals, and energy compared to traditional tree fiber, furthering the company's sustainability efforts.

Sustainability News in Retail

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