We’ve been putting in place a brand new project, helping to tackle food poverty with FareShare, for the last few months… and now we get to share the news with you in a guest blog below by Richard Mason, CSR Manager at Asda.

You might have seen some media coverage already such as that in the Observer at the weekend but Richard wanted to give my blog readers his inside track. At the end of last year he personally went on a mission to see how Asda could increase our support for those in food poverty – perfectly aligned with our mission of saving people money every day. Thanks to his efforts this project is massive and will make a difference to nearly 44,000 people every day. I’ve been working alongside him as he worked up this project and I’d like to congratulate him for delivering this amazing result.

Richard tells us:

Food poverty has been hitting the headlines recently, with a recent report finding that 3.5 million adults and 500,000 children can’t afford to eat properly. We’re working with FareShare, the national charity committed to fighting hunger. From time to time, we get surplus stock arriving at our distribution centres. Instead of letting it go to waste, we’re going to send it to FareShare depots. From there, they’ll distribute it to over 900 charities, where it’s cooked and served to people who really need it. So, perfectly good food will make a difference to people who really need it.

Find out more
Posted by Julian on 05 June 2013

The Sustain & Save Exchange, SSE, goes from strength to strength and one of the areas we decided to beef up is face to face activity. Last month Arla Foods hosted a visit at their Leeds Distribution Centre to showcase the financial and environmental benefits of LED lighting. Last week we ran a summit focusing on resource efficiency in the rather grand surroundings of the Queen’s Hotel in Leeds.

The highlight for me though had to be the announcement of our award winners, presented by Stuart Menzies, Category Director for Fresh Meat & Fish. These were for those companies and individuals who had really stood out either through support of this programme or who had benefited from it.

Find out who the winners were
Posted by Julian on 28 May 2013

I don’t know if you followed our global announcement but we’re really excited at Asda House. Walmart has announced a huge environmental target of a six-fold increase in renewable energy projects by 2020. That’s an ambitious target and one that we over here at Asda in the UK are excited to be part of. It’s part of how we challenge ourselves to become more sustainable whilst delivering low prices for our customers.

It was great to see Mike Duke, CEO at Walmart, making such an important commitment to the environment – something that he described as good for the world, good for our business and good for our customers. He also called out our energy colleagues as an exemplar across Walmart.

For our part, we’ve got a target to make sure that 30% of the energy used in our stores, depots and offices comes from renewable sources, from solar panels and wind turbines to heat pumps, by 2020. On energy efficiency we are not backing away either. We’ve committed that, no matter how much our business expands, we will use the same amount of electricity in 2020 as we did in 2012.

We’re already committed to reducing our impact on the environment, it’s something we take really seriously and we invest £10-15 million every year to help our stores, depots and offices reduce their energy use. Many of the energy reductions achieved already are down to colleagues changing the way they do everyday tasks. It’s not always about making revolutionary changes, we are communicating better with our colleagues, explaining how things work, which activities use the most energy and how to go about changing things…. and it all makes a real difference.

Of course, all of this is also common sense – energy is one of our major costs. With more efficient, cleaner and affordable energy we will lower our energy costs… and we can pass on these costs savings to our customers. It’s a win-win situation and I look forward to updating you on how we’re getting on!

Posted by Julian on 29 April 2013

Have you spotted that Asda doesn’t have a renewable energy target in our sustainability strategy? Well actually that’s not entirely true – we don’t (yet) have a public renewable energy target but since 2010 we have been working against internal goals.

The key is ‘yet’ – on the 15th April Walmart’s leadership will announce a new series of energy goals to include a new global renewable energy target. On the day you can watch it live here.

So that’s Monday 15th April at 4pm GMT. How’s that as a way for me to celebrate a recent birthday (won’t tell you how old I will be though!)…

Posted by Julian on 20 March 2013

This week I joined over 1,200 suppliers and colleagues in Harrogate for the annual IGD Asda Trade Briefing. It’s our largest supplier event and one where our Executive Team set out the priorities for the year ahead. There was a whole host of speakers on the day, including our CEO, Andy Clarke and Chief Marketing Officer, Stephen Smith. In addition it was great to hear our Chief Merchandising Officer for Food, Barry Williams, speaking at length about the Sustain & Save Exchange – he described it as an exemplar initiative, one that really shows the power of collaboration and creating shared value between us and our suppliers. But perhaps the biggest news was the announcement that he expects every one of our suppliers to be a member of the Exchange in a year’s time. That’s a grand ambition, but one I’m more than happy to work towards!

Read more
Posted by Julian on 11 March 2013