Sustainability | Our Products

Costa Rica: Biodiversity partnerships

We all love bananas, but there’s more to growing them than just planting a few trees. As plantations and cattle farms developed in Costa Rica, areas of rainforest became isolated and disconnected from each other. This meant that the animal species living there were cut off from others. This caused problems in terms of reproduction – and the shrinking gene pool affected the natural processes of evolution.

Monkey corridors

Nature and Community Project

To tackle this, Chiquita and Migros set up a ‘biodiversity partnership’ in 2003. In 2004, the biodiversity partnership –the Nature and Community Project – was officially launched. The German government’s development corporation, GTZ, joined in 2005 and Asda’s sourcing arm, IPL, joined in 2011. Together, these companies work with local businesses, schools, communities, scientists and government institutions to help protect and preserve Costa Rica’s biodiversity.

The motto of the biodiversity partnerships is: ‘conserving biodiversity, with the community and for the community’.

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Posted in Sustainability | Our Products on 07 October 2014
Sustainability | Food Waste

We’re working hard to reduce food waste. Working in partnership with our suppliers and the charity FareShare, we have developed an innovative and sector-leading scheme to reduce food waste within our supply chain, while at the same time increasing food donations to charities across the UK. It’s all based around surplus stock at distribution centres and the choice between returning stock to suppliers or redistributing it to charity.


How does the scheme work?

In partnership with FareShare, our new scheme aims to take surplus stock and use it to feed those that need it most thus ensuring that perfectly good food does not go to waste. With around nine million cases being handled in our supply chain every week, this could amount to approximately 35,000 cases of food being distributed to charities every week.

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Posted in Sustainability | Food Waste on 07 October 2014
Sustainability | Energy

We’re working hard to reduce energy across our operations. From 2007-2013 our energy efficiency programme resulted in savings of £41.9 million. By 2020 we are aiming for flat energy usage, based on 2012 figures, irrespective of future growth.

Save energy

Investing in efficiency

Every year, we invest £10-15 million to improve energy use and reduce carbon emissions from our stores, depots and offices. Since 2005, we have reduced energy use by 33% in existing stores and 45% in new stores. The energy saved is the equivalent to that used by over 60,000 homes every year.

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Posted in Sustainability | Energy on 07 October 2014
Sustainability | Store Energy

Refrigerants, it’s a complicated field. With changes in legislations, recommendations and disagreement within the industry, it’s also a key area of focus for us.

And we’ve taken a different stance from many others in the retail sector. We believe that remaining technically flexible for an ever changing future will allow alternative and emerging technologies to be implemented based on merit and evidence rather than emotion. We are concerned that committing to a single track technical route too soon could become very limiting, potentially missing out on a whole host of new development opportunities.

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Posted in Sustainability | Store Energy on 07 October 2014

We’re the first supermarket to publish comprehensive data on the fisheries that supply us so you can see exactly how and where our wild fish is caught – and how sustainable they are.

Sustainable Fisheries Partnership

We’ve teamed up with the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership to publish the first of our Wild Fisheries Annual Reviews.

The new report has been welcomed by Greenpeace and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, both of whom have campaigned for more transparency from supermarkets on seafood sourcing. It covers all the source fisheries we used between January 1st 2013 and December 31st 2013. Not all of the 64 fisheries that supply us have data available – we are working with the eight that don’t to improve the way they report. We’ve also pledged to ensure that all fisheries that need improvement take appropriate action.

Read more and see full report
Posted in Sustainability on 04 July 2014