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Sustainability News in Retail

Sustainability News in Retail

Sustainability Apr 8, 2024 at 9:23am

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

Asos, George at Asda, and Boohoo have committed to revising their environmental claims as a result of action taken by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)

The three fashion retailers have pledged to adjust how they present, describe, and advertise their environmental initiatives, ensuring that millions of consumers receive transparent and precise information.

Under agreements with the CMA, all three companies have agreed to adhere to a set of guidelines. This includes ensuring that their environmental claims are accurate and devoid of misleading information, providing clear and specific details regarding materials used in eco-friendly product lines, such as the percentage of recycled or organic fibres prominently displayed, and refraining from misinforming customers through imagery, search filters, or accreditation programs.

The CMA emphasised that any criteria utilised for selecting products included in Asos's former "responsible edit," Boohoo's "ready for the future" collection, George at Asda's "George for Good," and any forthcoming assortments must be clearly defined and outline any minimum standards.

Additionally, these retailers are required to furnish the watchdog with regular reports outlining their adherence to the commitments made and enhancements to their internal procedures. This development follows the CMA's launch of an inquiry in 2022 into the environmental assertions of Asos, Boohoo, and George at Asda, prompted by concerns about potential greenwashing.

In addition to the initial announcement, the CMA issued an open letter, urging fashion retailers to scrutinise their environmental claims.

B&M making waves with it's new food campaign

B&M has initiated a new food campaign both in its physical stores and online, which appears to critique supermarket loyalty programs.

Recently, the retailer unveiled a "big food event" featuring slogans like "No gimmicks" and "No loyalty cards," emphasising its commitment to providing "everyday low prices 365 days a year."

This new campaign presents discounts on various well-known brands, such as Batchelors Super Noodles priced at 80p, Frylight cooking oil at £1.75, and a 120-pack of Tetley tea bags available for £3.

In addition to the food campaign, B&M has extended a wide array of deals spanning its gardening, electricals, home goods, pet supplies, stationery, and everyday essentials categories.

This announcement follows Sainsbury’s recent introduction of its latest value proposition, dubbed ‘Low Everyday Prices,’ aimed at offering shoppers "market low prices" on specific branded products, many of which are not found in Aldi.

The new initiative, replacing Price Lock, ensures customers receive excellent value on over 1000 popular items, including PG Tips Tea Bags, Quaker Rolled Porridge, and Surf Tropical Lily Washing Powder.

However, at the beginning of the year, the Competition and Markets Authority commenced a review to determine if loyalty pricing practices are misleading consumers.

Scheduled for an update in July, the investigation is examining factors such as the authenticity of loyalty prices as promotions, the actual value they offer, and whether any particular groups of shoppers are disadvantaged by such promotional strategies.


Tesco, Aldi, and Sainsbury’s Advocate for Government Action Regarding Food Waste

Aldi, Tesco, and Sainsbury’s are among over 30 food industry participants advocating for government intervention to address the issue of food waste.

Led by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and the anti-food waste organization Too Good To Go, an open letter has been composed, signed by notable entities such as M&S, Lidl, Waitrose, Danone, Nestle, and Innocent Drinks. The letter urges Environment Secretary Steve Barclay to implement mandatory public reporting on food waste.

This call to action comes at a time when over a third of all food produced is currently wasted, amounting to a cost of £21.8 billion to the UK economy annually and contributing to 10% of total global greenhouse gas emissions.

Andrew Opie, Director of Food and Sustainability at the BRC, stated, "While most retailers already voluntarily report through WRAP’s Food Waste Reduction Roadmap, mandatory reporting would enhance transparency throughout the supply chain."

Liz Fox, National Sustainability Director at Aldi UK, emphasised the importance of addressing food waste collectively as an industry, noting that mandatory reporting would represent a significant advancement in this regard.

She further highlighted the benefits of food waste reporting in achieving targets, citing Aldi’s early attainment of one such goal and the establishment of new waste reduction objectives.

In January, Tesco faced scrutiny over its food waste reduction figures, having to revise them downward after acknowledging discrepancies. Despite its commitment to transparency on food waste reporting, the supermarket adjusted its figures from 45% between 2016 to 2017 and 2022 to 2023 to just 18%.

Sustainability news - food waste

Aldi pioneers paper bottles for wine

Aldi is introducing two proprietary wines packaged in recyclable paper bottles, developed in collaboration with sustainable packaging company Frugalpac.

Scheduled for release on Global Recycling Day, March 18, the Cambalala South African Shiraz and South African Sauvignon Blanc bottles are believed to mark a pioneering effort by a UK supermarket.

Priced at £7.99 each, the bottles are crafted from 94% recycled cardboard and feature a food-grade pouch lining, resulting in a weight approximately five times lighter than traditional glass wine bottles.

Julie Ashfield, Managing Director of Buying at Aldi UK, remarked, "Consumers are increasingly prioritizing sustainability in their daily lives, seeking incremental changes to benefit our planet. Our procurement teams continually explore avenues to enhance our offerings, providing greater value and environmentally conscious options. We take pride in being the inaugural supermarket to introduce a proprietary paper bottle, contributing to sustainable progress."

In January, Aldi disclosed a 57% reduction in food waste since 2017, achieving its 2030 target eight years ahead of schedule.

Initially committed to halving food waste by 2030 in alignment with the Courtauld 2030 pledge, the retailer has since revised its objective. It now aims to diminish food waste by 90% by 2030, relative to a 2017 baseline.

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