ASDA Sustainability Strategy Set to Deliver £800 Million in Savings By 2020

  • Sustainability initiatives set to deliver £800 million cumulative savings for Asda customers by 2020
  • Commitment to reducing carbon met four years ahead of schedule eliminating 149,000 tonnes of carbon
  • Existing commitments achieve over £70 million savings in 2010
  • New research reveals shoppers see ‘green living’ as key to saving money in tough times

Supermarket Asda has today announced that it is on track to deliver customers savings adding up to £800 million by 2020, thanks to its commitment to sustainability initiatives. The retailer has saved over £70m in 2010 alone through reducing waste and energy usage in its operations, and delivered four years ahead of schedule on its promise to reduce absolute carbon emissions throughout its operations by 10 per cent.

Asda, which operates over 500 stores across the UK, has been working towards stretching sustainability targets since 2005, when global parent Walmart announced its commitments to sustainable sourcing and reductions in energy and waste.

Figures released today show that Asda has reduced its carbon emissions by an industry leading 11.9 percent – exceeding its target to achieve a 10 percent reduction by 2015. Asda has recently been recertified under the Carbon Trust Standard – further evidence of its commitment to reducing its environmental impact.

Other headline achievements include:

  • Eliminating 149,000 tonnes of carbon from operations since 2007 - the equivalent of taking 60,000 cars off the road for a year
  • Eliminating 900 jumbo jets worth of packaging from its products
  • Reducing energy use in stores equivalent that used by over 55,000 homes every year
  • Eliminating 17 million miles from its supply chain – the same as going to the moon and back 38 times
  • Redirecting all food waste and 96 percent operational waste from landfill through recycling programmes, including diverting waste for energy.

The savings made through these efficiencies allow the retailer to reinvest in its prices, keeping costs low for customers.

Asda is also leading Walmart’s global initiative to source all of its palm oil from sustainable sources by 2015.

Asda has committed to maintaining – and up weighting - these operational initiatives, as well as introducing new programmes. Combined, these activities will see the retailer deliver a cumulative saving of £800 million by 2020*, which it will continue to reinvest in low prices for customers.

Headline commitments include;

  • Maintain a 10 per cent absolute carbon footprint reduction by end of 2015
  • Reduce fresh food waste by 10% farm-to-fork by the end of 2015
  • Achieve a 10 per cent reduction in the carbon impact of packaging by 2013
  • Invest £99m in its perishable supply chain by the end of 2015 to improve the freshness of its produce
  • Source 100 per cent of Palm Oil from segregated RSPO sources by the end of 2015
  • Increase products from local suppliers to £500m by the end of 2013

As part of Asda’s ongoing commitment to ensuring its activities meet the demands of customers – an approach made famous by the Chosen By You range, which is tried, tested and approved by customers - Asda has spent the last nine months engaging shoppers about their views on sustainability issues and what matters to them. This research reveals that ‘green’ has now become the norm and is viewed by a majority of shoppers as part and parcel of their everyday lives – regardless of income level.

Key findings from the research include:

- Income is not a barrier to caring about sustainability: Asda’s research shows that lower income households are more likely to care about green issues than higher income families.

- In tough times, sustainability makes good economic sense: Living more sustainably is not seen as just the ‘right’ thing to do, it’s seen as the smart thing to do as people strive to live more economically.

- No lectures: Shoppers do not want to be lectured on green issues – they want to be supported by retailers, organisations and companies who listen to what they want and work with them to provide it.

Paul Kelly, External Affairs Director at Asda, comments:

“Our approach to sustainability is based on the belief that protecting the environment and saving people money go hand in hand. Wasting resources is a waste of money – and we hate waste of any kind.

“Our work to minimise our environmental costs in our operations delivered over £70 million in savings for our customers last year – which we have invested in delivering lower prices for our customers. By pushing ourselves even further we are on track to save a total of £800 million before 2020.

“Our customers also see ‘green living’ as part and parcel of living as efficiently as possible in their everyday lives. They have told us loud and clear that caring about ‘green issues’ isn’t dependant on income and we will continue to make sure we work with them to deliver savings for their pockets and the planet.”

Sian Ferguson, Chief Executive, The Environment Council said;

"Working with Asda we have seen that they care passionately about their customers; they want to genuinely understand and learn from customers about green issues. By talking to each other and finding ways to make real changes happen, Asda and its customers have taken a collective responsibility to make sustainability simply the way we live."

Tamsin Cooper, Deputy Director at Green Alliance, said:

“This research sends a clear message that people across the population do still care about green issues in this economic climate, and that green living can be a way of saving money in tough times.”

-ends-

Notes to Editors

  • Over £70 million of savings have been delivered through sustainability initiatives. This is the benefit in 2010 versus 2005, not the cumulative impact
  • * Cumulative savings are based on projected savings to 2020 when compared to baseline in 2005.
  • Please find below a summary of Asda’s sustainability achievements and commitments to date:

Emissions:

  • 11.9 per cent absolute carbon footprint reduction, surpassing the target of reducing overall carbon impact by 10 per cent in the ten years between 2005 and 2015

Packaging:

  • 27 per cent reduction in the weight of packaging
  • 8 per cent reduction in the carbon footprint of packaging
  • A commitment to reduce the carbon impact of packaging by 10 per cent by 2013

Transport:

  • A 42 per cent reduction in the carbon emissions from Asda’s fleet of heavy goods vehicles
  • A commitment to extend this to a 60 per cent reduction by the end of 2015

Refrigeration:

  • An industry-leading reduction in refrigerant gas leaks, which now average just 2.6 per cent, compared to the industry average of 25 per cent

Waste:

  • A 100 per cent reduction in the amount of food waste diverted from landfill, now used for lots of different jobs such as pet food and electricity generation
  • A commitment to invest £99 million in its perishable supply chain by the end of 2015
  • Partner of Love Food Hate Waste customer campaign

Sustainability Sourcing:

  • 100% of fish is now sourced from sustainable sources and verified by the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership
  • 20% of Palm Oil is now sourced from segregated sources and 80% is covered by GreenPalm certificates
  • A commitment to source 100 per cent of tuna from pole & line or FAD-free sources by the end of 2014
  • A commitment to source 100 per cent of palm oil from segregated RSPO sources by the end of 2015

Local Sourcing:

  • 6000 local product lines stocked in store
  • A commitment to increase products sourced from local suppliers to £500 million by the end of 2013

Community

  • Community Life Programmes have now been launched in 28 stores and 2 depots
  • £1.8 million has been invested in over 100 local community projects since 2005
  • £1 million has been invested in Mobile Youth Provision. Through this partnership they aim to build a national network of mobile youth services that engage young people living in deprived areas in ways that will benefit the whole community.
  • A commitment to extend Community Life to all stores and depots by the end of 2012
  • A commitment to invest a minimum of £3million by 2013 in local projects

About Asda Stores Ltd.
Founded in the 1960s, Asda today is one of Britain’s leading retailers. It has over 180,000 dedicated Asda colleagues serving customers from 515 stores, including 25 ASDA Living stores, 23 depots and eight recycling centres across the UK (Great Britain and Northern Ireland). It has its main home office in Leeds, Yorkshire and its George clothing division based in Lutterworth Leicestershire. Asda serves over 18 million shoppers a week in store and its growing home shopping business serves over 98 per cent of UK homes.