Leading from the top

Barry Williams is the top man for food at Asda, what we call the Chief Merchandising Officer for Food. Here’s someone truly driven by helping people to save money whilst delivering ‘Value with Values’. He gave me a challenge a while back to closer support him and his teams to become more sustainable. I love a challenge and this led to the creation of the Asda Sustain & Save Exchange.

Back in January I described how we were engaging with 2degrees to trial an innovative tool to help our suppliers become more sustainable, save cash and become closer strategic partners. Well this has been a phenomenal success.

In June, just before I worked in the US with Walmart for a month, I received Board approval to roll this out to include every supplier whether own label or branded across fresh, chilled and frozen product buying areas. Barry’s support was crucial and the Directors that endorsed rolling this out included Andy Clarke, our CEO, and Judith McKenna, our COO.

We just broke radio silence that the Sustain & Save Exchange now includes over 300 suppliers with sales value of more than £12bn. This is now the largest collaboration tool of its type ever launched in the UK that’s working in collaboration to reduce resource usage.

Watch this space for examples of innovation coming from the Exchange. And my thanks to Simon, Nyla, Nick and Amanda at 2degrees for their dedication and hard work on this project. I can tell you that this activity will have a massive positive effect on the products our customers buy and love from us – more sustainable products but no premium just great Asda prices. What we call ‘Value with Values’.

Posted by Julian on 15 October 2012
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