IF you do have to shop at a supermarket then choose carefully…
M&S and Sainsbury’s have been named the greenest supermarkets in Britain. Both were awarded an A grade for the first time in biennual reports conducted by Customer Focus on supermarket sustainability. These results mark a considerable improvement in the retail sector’s enviornmental performance. M&S rated the highest in promoting climate change, with 100% of their freezers having closed doors and 74% of their produce sourced from the UK.
While Sainsbury’s could only boast 63% of their freezer units having closed doors, they rated considerably higher than M&S on waste; with far superior recycling facilities and the most packaging made from sustainable materials.
It wasn’t all good news for green retailing though. Asda, one of the “big four”, failed the report with an overall D rating. Their proportion of organic produce has actually dropped from 18% in 2007 to 11% in 2009. In contrast to M&S, only 59% of their produce was UK sourced and a as little as 2 out of their 45 own branded cereals were FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified.
So while M&S and Sainsburys have reached a peak in sustainable development for the retail sector, the gap has widened between the top and bottom performing supermarkets. Six out of the nine assessed were graded C or lower. This included Tesco, Morrisons, The Co-op, Asda, Aldi and Lidl.
Thankfully, unlike Asda, Tesco have shown some improvement, with its organic lines increasing during the past two years from 20% to 23%. This is actually a higher percentage than that of Sainsbury’s organic produce but the latter graded better for its sustainable farming due to showcasing considerably more visible signposting for Fair Trade products.
For the full report and rundown of scores, click here.