Smarter products that are better for people and the planet

At Asda, we’re always working to bring you the best products at the same everyday low prices. When it comes to providing products that are better for people and the planet – it’s no different.

In the past, we’ve focused on reducing the impact of business operations, like our stores, depots and offices. But we want to go further, so now we’re looking to improve the millions of products we sell each year too.

From the way we source them to how we transport, package and store them, we’re developing smart products that will cut our impact and help you cut yours too.

Making our products smarter

Bringing you smarter products

  • People. Planet. Price. We've set up the Asda Sustain & Save Exchange to reduce our suppliers' impacts.

  • Fish source. We only source from well-managed fisheries to meet our target of selling 100% sustainably sourced fish.

  • Better palm oil. By 2015 we will only use sustainable palm oil in our Asda products. All of the 16,000 tonnes of palm oil and palm kernel oil used by Asda supports the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil scheme.

  • Helping you help. The Sustainable Products Index and Product Research Forum outputs mean we'll sell products that have less impact on the environment.

  • Sea the label. All of our own brand fish is labelled with the oceans where it was caught, so you can be sure of where it came from.

  • Green on health. Our unique labelling system, combining “traffic lights” with guideline daily amounts (GDAs), provides easy-to-understand information on how healthy a product is.

  • Beefing up. Our low carbon beef uses a third less carbon than standard beef and this has been integrated into our beef range.

  • Fairer farming. Check out the work we’re doing on sustainable agriculture here.

Our work so far (2005-2011):

Local sourcing
  • We’ve been setting up regional ASDA hubs with local suppliers since 2002, making it easier for small suppliers to deliver to our stores.

Sourcing sustainable palm oil
  • Since 2009, we no longer accept Palm oil from areas where it may endanger species such as the Orang-utan or Sumatran tiger.

  • We were one of the first signatories of the Unilever WWF coalition on sustainable palm oil in 2008.

Packaging
  • We've made a 27%* reduction in our packaging.

  • We are on track to achieve the goal to reduce the embedded carbon of our packaging as part of Courtauld Commitment 2.






Healthier choices
  • First UK retailer to cut artificial colours, flavours, enhancers and artificial sweeteners from all of our products.

Looking after our fish stocks
  • 100%* of our fish comes from sustainable sources.


Our plans (2012-2015):

Local sourcing
  • By 2013 we will spend a further £270 million on food from British producers. This includes £70 million from specialist small and local suppliers.*

Sourcing sustainable palm oil
  • All Asda brand products will use only sustainable palm oil by 2015.

  • Asda will continue to lead the way globally on Walmart's Sustainable Palm Oil project – ensuring that all Walmart own label products use only sustainable palm oil by 2015.

Packaging
  • We're aiming for a 3% cut in ingredient, product and packaging waste in the grocery supply chain by 2015 as part of the WRAP and Courtauld Commitment 3 by 2013.

  • Global goal with Walmart to reduce carrier bag usage by 33% by 2013.

Healthier choices
  • We’re aiming to continue to develop more healthy, sustainable and affordable food choices.

Looking after our fish stocks
  • We aim to sell 100%* sustainable fish.

  • All of our tuna will come from pole and line or FAD-free sources (Fish Aggregating Devices) by the end of 2014.

*from a 2005 baseline.
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’.

Read more.
Posted in Sustainability | Our Products on 07 October 2014
Sustainability | Healthier Products

We know you want to be able to choose products that are the healthier option for you and your family.

That’s why we’re always working to find new ways to make our products better for you. Whether that’s cutting out the nasties like artificial flavours and colours, or just making it easier to find the products you’re after.

Here’s a few of the things we’ve been working on:

Cutting back on pesticides

We’re trying to cut out the number of pesticides used in growing our products. We’re working with organisations like LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) to reduce the use of chemical pesticides. We’re also exploring other more natural ways to keep pests under control, like using ladybirds to combat the spread of insects on our cabbage crops. This means we can provide a great range of pesticide-free products, like our Good Natured fruit and veg to enjoy.

09 December 2011
Sustainability | Local Sourcing

At Asda, we’re committed to working with local suppliers. This helps our local communities while bringing you a fresh and tasty product.

Our range of local produce includes award winning regional meats, local delicacies, cheeses, yoghurts, sausages, pickles, ice cream, cakes and beer.

We think it’s important that we help out local businesses, while still being able to bring you the best quality products at everyday low prices.

Read more about our local suppliers
21 February 2011
Sustainability | Sustainable Fish

Asda is committed to the sustainable sourcing of fish and seafood. To assist us in this, we have partnered with a leading fisheries organisation the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership.

All our own brand chilled fish suppliers are now assessing their fish sourcing with an external evaluation organisation, the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP).

We’re supporting SFP programmes at a global and regional level, including being active in supporting a number of existing Fisheries Improvement Projects, e.g. supporting the moves by SFP and AIPCE (the European Fish Processors Association) to apply control documents to the Barents Sea Cod and Haddock fisheries, which dramatically reduced levels of IUU (Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported) and led to parts of the fishery obtaining MSC certification.

Find out more about what we're doing to source sustainable fish
21 February 2011
Sustainability | Sustainable Palm Oil

Palm oil is one of the safest and most useful oils around. It ends up in a lot of the products we buy, from chocolate to medicines.

The problem is that because it’s so useful, demand is high. In the last ten years, global production has doubled. By the year 2000, palm oil was the most produced and traded vegetable oil in the world (FAO).

This can obviously have a huge impact on the areas where it’s grown, as man-made plantations affect the environment, wildlife and surrounding communities. We won’t ban the use of palm oil, but we will work extremely hard to source it sustainably, and persuade other businesses like ours to do the same.

Read more about our efforts to source sustainable palm oil
Posted in Sustainability | Sustainable Palm Oil on 21 February 2011