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Green Champions - Asda

Green Champions - Asda

Green Champions

Asda

Asda is not only one of the biggest supermarkets in the UK; it’s part of Walmart, which is the largest retailer in the world. But with great power comes great responsibility as they say, and Asda realise that being such a large retailer, they have a responsibility to minimise the environmental impact of their operations.

A better business

Asda believes that being economically viable as a business and protecting the environment go hand in hand. They have set environmental targets for themselves, which are:

To use 100% renewable energy

To create zero waste

To sell products that sustain people and the environment

The figures speak for themselves

Since 2005, Asda has reduced energy use in their stores by 33% and in new stores by 45%. They have also cut carbon emissions by doing fewer journeys between depots, and they manage to keep a whopping 98.9% of waste from going to landfill. This has resulted in them reducing their carbon footprint by 16.5% since 2007, even though the business has continued to grow.

Sustainability: what is Asda doing?

Suppliers

Asda realises that most of the environmental impact it has occurs in the supply chain. That is why they have focused on reducing the impact of their operations in their depots and offices, as well as their stores. They introduced the Asda Sustain & Save Exchange, an online tool for suppliers which gives them ideas and information on how to be more efficient and sustainable. This could be anything from installing LED lighting, to using transformers to reduce energy usage. Over 1,250 of Asda’s suppliers have registered to use the tool, and it has resulted in £11 million of savings and a 35,000 tonnes reduction in CO2.

Communities

Asda set up Asda Communities in 2011. Among the aims of the initiative are to improve health and wellbeing for everyone, and to help families to live in cleaner and safer environments. They have a school’s toolkit which provides interactive healthy eating activities for children, and their ‘community champions’ go into schools to demonstrate how to cook healthy meals and snacks.

The Asda Foundation is their charitable Foundation which gives grants to community groups and projects throughout the UK.

Energy

Asda’s operations use a lot of energy, from operating fridges to checkouts, that’s why they have actively tried to reduce their energy usage. They have started simple, by investing in more efficient technology and turning ovens off when they aren’t in use for example. They have managed to reduce overall energy usage by 19% since 2010.

Examples of good practice in our stores

Norwich

The roof has solar panels, the heating and hot water is provided by air pumps, and LED lighting is used in the store. 18% of the total energy used comes from renewable sources.

Leicester

In 2014, they installed a solar panel system on the roof of one of their superstores. The system reduces the carbon footprint and operational costs of the store and saves 197,538kWh of energy every year.

Electric car charging

In 2011, Asda began installing charging points for electrical cars in their car parks after feedback from customers who wanted a cheaper and greener alternative to diesel or petrol. There are now over 170 charging points in over 100 stores.

Staff saving energy

Store managers have targets to meet and are responsible for energy use in their store. Staff are encouraged to make sure fridge doors are shut properly and to turn off equipment when it’s not in use for example.

Future energy targets

Asda has a target to use 100% renewable energy. Their initial goal is to use 30% renewable energy by 2020. As Asda want to keep prices low for customers, they acknowledge the importance of affordable renewable energy. They continue to work with partners to look at viable options for renewables.

Climate change

Asda realise that climate change can affect their suppliers and ultimately, their business operations. They have carried out an analysis of climate change trends and how they might affect their business. They plan to introduce a framework to adapt to changes as they happen.

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