Press Centre

Asda lowers carbon footprint by 7pc in two years

Supermarket slashes emissions by 84,703 tonnes since 2007, despite opening 36 new stores

Asda announced today it had taken more than 80,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent (CO2-eq) out of its operations since 2007, despite opening 36 stores and serving an additional 2.5m customers each week.

The significant cut in emissions represents a seven per cent absolute reduction in CO2-eq in just two years, for every £1m of sales the supermarket today produces 66 tonnes of CO2-eq compared to 83 tonnes in 2007.

Asda’s carbon reduction announcement comes on the day that Walmart unveiled plans to eliminate a further 20 million metric tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from its global supply chain by the end of 2015. This represents 150 percent of the company’s estimated global carbon footprint growth over the next five years and is the equivalent of taking more than 3.8 million cars off the road for a year.

Alongside the successful reduction of carbon emissions and greenhouse gases Asda is also its focusing on product innovation. The retailer has already developed Respectful Eggs, which use 50 percent less carbon to produce but cost the same as a standard free range egg. Asda is also trialling a refillable fabric conditioner dispenser, where customers can refill their 1.5L pouches up to 10 times, saving them nearly 40p each visit and reducing the amount of plastic packaging waste by up to 96 percent. Innovation in pork, dairy and textiles are planned for later in 2010.

Walmart has been a global leader in sustainability since 2005, when the then CEO and President of the company Lee Scott outlined ambitious targets to reduce carbon across its operations. That commitment required Walmart to cut emissions from existing stores by 20% by 2010, and new stores by 30% by 2013. Asda has already reached both targets ahead of deadline.

Paul Kelly, Asda’s External Affairs and Corporate Responsibility Director, said: “Saving money and cutting waste has always been at the heart of our business and that also puts sustainability centre stage. Compared to 2005, our stores are significantly more energy efficient, and despite our colleagues now delivering 400m more cases each year, our trucks are driving 19m fewer miles. Through a combination of food innovation, removing unnecessary waste, and the introduction of double-deck trailers, reverse logistics from our stores, we now have some of the most efficient stores in retail and the most cost-effective distribution network in the UK.”

Over the last two years these actions have saved us £30m and as a result we have invested in lowering the price of the weekly shop for its 18 million customers whilst also making a significant reduction in the impact is has on the planet.

Asda today also confirmed it is on target to send zero waste to landfill by the end of 2010. By reducing, recycling, and reusing all of the materials in its stores and depots, Asda is diverting almost 200,000 tonnes of waste compared to 2005.

This year to achieve its target, it is diverting all food waste from landfill, and implementing comprehensive colleague recycling facilities, allowing all its store and depot colleagues to recycle plastic bottles, cans and office paper. The remaining residual waste will be sent to energy recovery facilities.

Tomorrow Ed Miliband, Doncaster North MP and Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, visits an Asda distribution centre in Doncaster, and will say:

“I’m really delighted that Asda is making a real effort in reducing their carbon footprint, it is very impressive and I congratulate them on their achievement. I look forward to seeing Asda making further progress and playing its part to help the environment.”

Posted in Press Centre on 25 February 2010