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Lessons from retail royalty

With six million customers a week, British firm Kingfisher is the largest home improvement retailer in Europe as well as Asia. Tom Idle talks to the man who oversees the giant's social responsibility worldwide

Never knowingly unsustainable

The compatibility of sustainability and good business is exemplified by John Lewis's recently-opened distribution centre in Milton Keynes
Jitendra Patel

Carbon economy hots up

The gloves are coming off. Carbon now means big business, and the consultancy world heavyweights are shaping up to help companies handle 'just another variable', says Rob Bell

Learning lessons in logistics

The retail sector has pioneered increased transport efficiency. And water utilities are beginning to slash operating costs and reduce their carbon footprints by applying the same principles to their supply chains, writes Dean Stiles.

Driving a sustainable supply chain

Logistics businesses are keen to hit the road to sustainability. But there is a spectrum of approaches to consider. We investigate one leading company's efforts.

Integrity + innovation = sustainable performance

What do Marks & Spencer and HSBC have in common? They are both focusing more and more on integrity and innovation. Could this be the way to achieve total sustainable performance?
Jitendra Patel

Retail breaks the rules on waste

In the North-west, 15% of retail businesses admit to taking their waste home to dispose of it - which is against the Duty of Care rules. Here we look at the reasons, and what can be done to educate
Dan Clayton

Teamwork makes pumping station upgrade a 'resounding success'

When one of Northumbrian Water's largest wastewater treatment plants needed upgrading it was going to be fraught with possible problems, especially given the proximity of public amenities. Rigorous planning, strategic safeguards and smooth teamworking were vital to ensure this important project avoided disruption or disaster.

Odour surveying leads by the nose

Surveying can be the most practicable and cost-effective way of delivering smell-free wastewater treatment in residential areas, argues Bryan Pickering, principal process engineer at MWH

How to get the most from waste-to-energy

Generating energy from waste is attracting increasing attention. But incineration causes concerns. Andrew Hamilton says his company has a technology that bypasses the issue

Intelligent sewage handling

Pump and control system failures are creating major problems for water companies. Peter Costello offers a potential solution

Is competition healthy?

The government believes competition could spur water companies to greater efficiency and improved performance, and provide customers with lower prices and new and improved services. But, asks Sally Nash, is competition in the sector viable?

Designing a much more sustainable world

Can big business pay more than lip service to environmental policy? John Haven investigates the impact of a world-leading software company, Autodesk

How to make rainwater management work

Waterscan's innovative Aqua-Control systems have been approved to join the UK Enhanced Capital Allowance scheme. Neil Pendle outlines the driving forces that are expanding the commercial rainwater management market.

MCerts: The reality

Tony Hoyle, director of the Sensors for Water Interest Group (Swig), discusses the impact of flow monitoring regulations on key stakeholders and describes the measures that water companies can take to ensure that their flow monitoring schemes are up to scratch

The natural solution

With the waste industry facing stricter landfill regulations, increasing numbers of local authorities are turning to in-vessel composting. Alexander Maddan reports

Making degrade

Millions of tonnes of household waste is landfilled in the UK every year, much of which is packaging. Degradable and biodegradable materials are increasingly used but still, among the public, general confusion abounds. Becky Toal reports

The grass is greener...

Yorkshire Water treats around 350M m3 waste water per year, resulting in the production of 150,000-plus tonnes of dry solids. By 2010 this production will have increased by at least 15% due to improvements made at many of the company's 600 wastewater treatment works to meet the Freshwater Fish Directive requirements. Tom explains.

Sold on a green approach

Two years ago, a pilot scheme helped one shopping centre to work with its retailers to save energy, waste and water. Now, with momentum building, centres across the UK are benefitting, and their profits are rising. Chris Hodgson reports

WEEE: Time to take action

The WEEE Directive will make UK manufacturers responsible for the 1M tonnes of electrical waste produced every year. Delays in its implementation have made businesses complacent - but now it is just around the corner. James Skidmore reports

Ahead of the game

According to David Jackson, chairman of Business in the Environment - a sub-division of Business in the Community (BiTC), "the Environment Index has proved vital to the development of corporate environmental practice over the years". And he certainly has a point.

Hidden cost of renewables

The Government wants 10% of electricity to come from renewable sources by 2010. But any business that installs a renewable-energy system on its property faces increased rates. The British Retail Consoritum asks why As industry ponders the future of Britain's energy supply, political pressure is mounting on the Government from a range of disparate voices. The environmental lobby wants clean and green energy. The private sector is concerned by both rising costs and fears about security of supply, while voters (hit by soaring gas and electricity bills) simply want an energy bill they can afford.
It is against this tense background that the DTI is conducting the major energy review currently under way. Clearly, the nuclear option looms large (an option explored on page 16), but the scale of a nuclear build needed to meet Britain's energy demand may remain an unpalatable political decision for this current Government. But we shall have to wait and see.
In the build-up to Kyoto, and following its implementation last year, the Government has worked hard to secure creditability globally with its commitment to climate change. Only a few months post-Kyoto, Tony Blair lectured his G8 colleagues on the threat of climate change at Gleneagles, calling it "probably, long-term, the single most important issue we face as a global community".
Thus, in recent years, we have seen a range of policy drivers designed to cut carbon dioxide emissions in the property market. These have included regulatory spurs, such as the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, and changes to the Building Regulations, and incentives via a range of grants and reliefs (for example the Clear Skies programme and business rates relief for good-quality combined heat and power plant).
For the moment, at least, the Government continues to maintain its support for renewable energy and is publicly committing to generating 10% of the UK's electricity supply from renewable energy sources by 2010. Clearly we are still some way off meeting this goal - at present, less than 3% of the UK's electricity supply comes from renewable sources. In order to meet the 10% target, the UK will need to install approximately 10,000MWe of renewable capacity by 2010, an annual build rate of more than 1,250MWe.

Small scale
Until recently, the Government has focused on the potential for large-scale renewable systems - but this is set to change. Small-scale renewable systems have now been developed which can be installed on just about any structure and most locations
- including the high street.
Voices within government have recognised the potential for business to drive up the UK's generating capacity from renewable sources and have identified the planning system as one of the best mechanisms. With this end in mind, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) published a new planning guidance document on renewable energy at the end of 2004 called Planning Policy Statement 22 (PPS22): Renewable Energy.
Although this document is barely 18 months old, there is already talk in some Government circles about whether to begin work revising and presumably extending PPS22. And the ODPM and the DTI have been engaged in an interesting series of exchanges about whether or not there would be a redraft.
A growing number of local authorities are beginning to flex their new planning powers to implement the Government's 10% target. And we are increasingly beginning to see individual wind turbines and solar photovoltaics (PV) appearing in the most unlikely of places - standing alongside a supermarket, a DIY retailer or attached to a petrol station forecourt.
The Mayor of London has taken this further with the introduction of legislation that means all major developments in the Greater London Authority area should generate at least 10% of the site's energy needs from on-site renewable energy. No doubt, as new development schemes designed under this new regime begin to come online, we will witness an explosion of micro-renewables across the Capital.
Despite all these laudable attempts to promote the growth of the fledgling renewables market, the Government is in danger of undermining all its good intentions by penalising private-sector investment in renewable energy. It is a little-known fact that an anomaly in the system of business rates means that any business that installs a small-scale renewable energy system on its property - be it a 30kW wind turbine or a small panel of PV - faces a supplementary increase in their business rates levy. The Valuation Office Agency (VOA), which administers the business rates regime on behalf of the ODPM, fails to make a distinction between fossil fuel burning plant and machinery and renewable plant.
Accordingly, an incongruous situation has emerged
where retailers who look to reduce their carbon emissions by investing in renewables
are penalised with increased
rates liability.
Clearly this small branch of Government has not kept up with the rest of Whitehall thinking on renewable energy and climate change. And, given the already high start-up costs associated with renewable technologies, many leaders in the retail community have voiced the opinion that this practice is a deterrent from taking up these important technologies.
This point is also picked up in Ernst & Young's global renewable energy market report. Although the most recent edition ranks the UK as one of the two most attractive countries in the world for investment in renewable technologies, the UK's position is downgraded for the first time because of the Government's business rates regime.

Iniquitous practice
The retail sector and others in the business community feel they have the potential to go some way in helping the Government meet its ambitious target of generating 10% of the UK's electricity from renewable energy by 2010. However, at the present time it is still more cost effective for retailers to source their energy needs from the national grid.
The rating of micro-renewables further reinforces this situation. The British Retail Consortium is currently campaigning to ensure the Government puts a stop to this iniquitous practice.

Edie Environmental Legislation Summary (May 06)

Recent changes to legislation which will impact on the environmental sector in the UK, Europe and internationally come under the spotlight in this Semple Fraser and Edie News monthly round-up of new law and policy. Among the developments this month we see updates to EU's position on waste from mining, oil drilling and other extractive industries, improved public access to environmental information and new rules on the disposal of batteries.

Why is renewable energy use penalised?

The Government wants 10% of electricity to come from renewable sources by 2010. But any business that installs a renewable-energy system on its property faces increased rates. The British Retail Consoritum asks why

Clear benefits

Groundbreaking trials show that recycled glass is not only a highly effective filtration medium but also better for the environment

How conquering Europe can drive sustainability and business

Simon Fordham looks at the value of European awards in driving sustainable manufacturing

Happy dinosaurs

Bottled water looks set to defy Darwin's law, writes Barrie Clarke. From its original target - young women - the market has evolved to include children and a 'measure of urban distinction'

Free choice for Scottish firms

Scottish business customers will be free to choose their service provider by 1 April, 2008.
The rule changes result from a framework for the introduction and regulation of competition in the Scottish water industry under the Water Services (Scotland) Act 2005.

Free choice for Scottish firms

Scottish business customers will be free to choose their service provider by 1 April, 2008.
The rule changes result from a framework for the introduction and regulation of competition in the Scottish water industry under the Water Services (Scotland)

How to comply

Under the WEEE Directive, local authorities will not pay to recycle electrical equipment, and will get additional funding from retailers. Steve Gough outlines the implications

Less wire, more speed

John Hother, MD of consulting engineers Proneta, outlines the increasingly apparent advantages of using wireless technology in real-time data-gathering

Pack it in

The country's largest supermarket chains have come together, revealing a commitment to waste minimisation by agreeing to pioneer new ways of packaging their products. Tom Idle reports

The Furniture Recycling Group recently partnered with the University of St Andrews to transform textile recycling process in its student accommodation

Furniture manufacturers urged to solve circular economy conundrum

Britain's mattress manufacturers must become advocates of the circular economy by taking the lead on producer responsibility schemes which could significantly reduce the sector's vast waste-to-landfill rates.

There are now 286 fisheries worldwide that are MSC-certified, with 38 new additions in 2015-2016.

Retailers and restaurants stepping up to the plate on sustainable seafood

Fisheries, supermarkets and foodservice businesses are together driving up demand for traceable, sustainable seafood as a new report from the Marine Stewardship council (MSC) reveals that the volume of MSC-certified catch increased by a further 6% last year.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (centre) challenged Mike Coupe (second from right) to improve the transparency of Sainsbury’s food waste management

Sainsbury's boss clashes with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall over food waste management

Sainsbury's chief executive Mike Coupe has fended off a fresh wave of criticism from celebrity chef-turned-eco-warrior Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall about the "ridiculous system" of exacting cosmetic standards of the fruit and veg sold by Britain's supermarkets.

The annual WRAP conference advised companies to create an 'enabling environment' for circular economy

Customers must be at heart of circular economy, retailers agree

Retailers must be prepared to collaborate to create a 'behavioral catalyst' that will transform the circular economy concept into a viable, mainstream business model, a panel of sustainability experts has concluded.

The sector has seen a growing trend in acquiring more sustainable fibre choices

Fashion industry closing in on carbon and water reduction targets

Water impacts in the clothing supply chain have been reduced by 12.5% per tonne of clothing since 2013, while carbon impacts have also been cut by 3.5% per tonne, WRAP has announced.

IKEA has sourced its more sustainable cotton from sources grown to the Better Cotton Standard

IKEA becomes first major retailer to use '100% sustainable' cotton

Swedish retail giant IKEA has announced today (30 October) that it has become the first major retailer to source all of the cotton used in products from certified sustainable sources.

52 major grocery retailers, household brands and manufacturers are currently signed up to WRAP's agreement

Voluntary agreement sees UK retailers cut 80,000 tonnes of waste

Britain's manufacturers and retailers have reduced their ingredient, product and packaging waste by 80,000 tonnes since 2012, thanks to a voluntary agreement organised by WRAP.

Sustainability issues in the cosmetics industry can range from the use of microbeads, to the sourcing of raw material like palm oil, to deforestation

Walmart and Target lead charge to get sustainable cosmetics on shelves

American retail giants Walmart and Target are two of the first companies to sign up to a new industry leadership group that aims to steer the beauty sector towards more sustainable products.

​The new egg boxes feature 50% ryegrass and 50% recycled paper and can be recycled like a traditional egg box

Waitrose turns grass into egg boxes

Waitrose has given the humble egg box a green makeover with the launch of a revolutionary new packaging material made from ryegrass and paper.

Land Securities' One New Change mall at St Pauls

Land Securities commits to 100% renewables

The UK's largest commercial property company has pledged to procure 100% renewable electricity by April 2016.

The sun sets on Longannet power station

Scotland's last coal-fired power station to close in March

Scottish Power has announced that its coal-fired Longannet power station will be closing on 31 March 2016 after 46 years of service .

Scotland Energy Minister Fergus Ewing and Wales Natural Resources Minister Carl Sargeant have written to Rudd urging her to support community schemes

Community energy will take brunt of subsidy cuts, warn Scotland and Wales

Community energy schemes will be hit hardest by Amber Rudd's recent energy subsidy shake-up, ministers from Scotland and Wales have warned.

Ikea is the first major global retailer to make the full switch to LEDs

Ikea lights the way with switch to full LED range

Ikea has become the first major global retailer to offer only LED lights, by phasing out traditional halogen bulbs in its new lighting range.

Businesses will be challenged by the Mayor's office to make big emissions savings

London hosts energy efficiency challenge for businesses

The London Mayor's office has launched its second Business Energy Challenge to encourage corporations to step up to meeting city-wide emissions targets.

The announcement from the White House represents $140bn in planned low-carbon investment

American firms pledge $140bn to support Obama's climate action

Apple, Coca-Cola and Walmart are among 13 American multinationals that have put forward $140bn of new low-carbon investment in an announcement at the White House today (27 July).

Community Shop and Food Cycle aim to reduce food waste and food poverty together. Photo: FoodCycle

'Social supermarket' unites with surplus charity unite to tackle food poverty

A new partnership between Community Shop and the charity Food Cycle is set to prevent even more food waste while providing social benefits to deprived areas.

(L-R): Alice Ellison (BRC); Matt Wood (Asda); Paul Crewe (Sainsbury's); and Matt Simister (Tesco) at the Fareshare Food Surplus Summit

Supermarkets take shared responsibility for food waste crackdown

The UK's three largest supermarket chains and the trade body which represents them have unanimously agreed that more collaboration is needed to redistribute more surplus food to charities.

The store also features a Repair Club, with staff demonstrating sewing skills and furniture repairs to the general public

Scotlands first 'recycling superstore' opens in the Highlands

Zero Waste Scotland has launched its first recycling superstore in the Scottsih Highlands

The EU wastes approximately 89m tonnes of food every year, with the UK the worst performing country in the bloc, throwing away 15m tonnes of food

Supermarket food waste campaign gathers pace

Almost 130,000 people have signed a petition calling on the UK government to force supermarkets to give unsold food to charities.

An Apple store in Beijing - one of 18 retail outlets in China

Apple beefs up green commitments in China

Tech giant Apple has announced a new partnership with WWF to reduce the impact of its packaging needs on forests in China.

The 'Powerwall' system stores surplus energy from renewable sources and then releases it when necessary

Tesla's foray into energy storage could 'revolutionise energy system'

The news that Tesla is launching a battery energy storage pack is 'another nail in the coffin of conventional utilities', according to a professor of energy policy at the University of Exeter.

The green gains means the company has already reached 2015 targets on water and waste, while it remains on track to cut emissions by 30% next year

Adidas slashes environmental impact with innovation

Sporting giant Adidas has released its 2014 Sustainability Progress report, revealing more than 20% cuts in emissions, water use and waste over the last six years.

Queensgate Shopping Centre in Peterborough has implemented a first-of-its-kind assessment scheme, the Growing Greener pledge

Retailer engagement brings huge environmental benefits for shopping centre

Queensgate Shopping Centre in Peterborough has successfully engaged with its retailers to achieve significant reductions in energy, waste and water use.

Passive ventilation and innovative construction techniques minimise the energy required to heat and cool the building

Costa opens first 'zero-energy' coffee shop

Coffee shop chain Costa has launched a new 'Eco Pod' cafe concept, incorporating an array of innovative energy-saving technologies that could have a huge impact on the future of sustainable building design in the hospitality sector.

The retailer has agreed to ban dangerous pollutants by the end of June 2016

Aldi commits to hazardous chemical detox

Leading discount retailer Aldi has signed up to Greenpeace's Detox campaign, committing to the zero discharge of hazardous chemicals from the lifecycle and production of all its textile and footwear goods by 2020.

M&S expects 5,000 of its customers to join the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) and the Canal & River Trust to take part in the 4th annual Big Beach Clean Up

M&S calls on customers to tackle Britain's littered beaches

British retailer Marks and Spencer (M&S) is calling on customers to join 3,000 of its employees on its annual litter-pick along Britain's beaches and canals, following news that litter levels are rising.

he development of solar energy is complicated by the need to find space for power-generating equipment without altering the surrounding area

City-based solar is best source of clean energy, says study

Building solar systems into the infrastructure of cities could be the most efficient way to provide clean energy according to a new study by Stanford University.

Walmart's new online tool allows customers to factor in sustainability when purchasing products from its website

Walmart launches virtual sustainability shop

American retailer Walmart has opened up an online tool that allows customers to factor in sustainability credentials when purchasing products from its website.

The technology is already installed at 30 Sainsbury's stores across the country, cutting overall energy consumption by 30% at the chosen locations

Sainsbury's heats stores using fridges to slash energy consumption

Sainsbury's is pioneering the use of ground-source heating technology by collecting the warmth from the back of its refrigerators to heat up its stores - cutting energy use by more than 30%.

The BRC hopes the new initiative will help retailers make sense of confusing policy and regulation

25-in-5: BRC launches new initiative to stimulate retailer energy efficiency

The UK retail industry could save up to £4.1bn in cumulative energy and carbon costs by reducing its combined energy consumption 25% by 2050, as part of a new initiative from the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

Participating retailers achieved a 13% reduction in absolute carbon emissions between 2005-2014

Retailers on track with ambitious sustainability targets

Britain's leading retailers are on track to meet ambitious voluntary targets set by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) to reduce the direct environmental impact of the sector.

There are 53 companies signed up to the agreement, including major grocery retailers, household brands and manufacturers

Courtald Commitment hails greener packaging, increased food redistribution

WRAP's Courtauld Commitment Phase 3 has seen 80% more food being redistributed by retailers and food manufacturers, and a 4.5% reduction of the carbon impacts of packaging in its first year.

The UK wastes 15m tonnes of food per year. EFRA is urging Government to provide WRAP with funding to help tackle this food waste problem.

MPs urge Government to provide WRAP with 'sufficient funding' to help tackle food waste

A cross-party group of MPs has urged the Government to provide WRAP with 'sufficient public funding' for it to maintain momentum in its food waste reduction programmes.

Only 1.3% of all food waste came from the seven major supermarkets in 2013

Supermarket food waste: Combined figures revealed for first time

The UK's seven major supermarkets contributed to just 1.3% of all food waste in 2013, according to new figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

The Compact commits businesses to ten environmental and sociallly responsible principles

UN expels 657 companies from Global Compact initiative in 2014

The UN Global Compact ousted 372 companies in the second half of 2014 - including 14 UK firms - for failing to report on their progress against the scheme's 10 environmental and social principles.

Tetra Rex Bio-based cartons are made from a combination of plastics derived from plants and paperboard

Finnish dairy firm claims 'world first' with use of bio-based carton pack

Valio, a Finnish dairy company, has claimed that it has become the first company in the world to sell products to consumers in carton packaging made entirely from plant-based materials.

The telecoms company is working on a programme to reduce carbon emissions by 3% in the next year.

Vodafone UK targets emissions reduction following CSR report

Vodafone UK reported significant increases in CO2 emissions and energy use over the past year, but the phone giant has attributed the jump to operational growth and said it has a programme in place to reduce emissions by 3% this year.

LED lighting is key to helping M&S achieve its 35% energy reduction target by 2015 and 50% by 2020

M&S Plan A: Product sustainability grows as LED rollout begins

M&S will bring LED lighting to every M&S food hall over the next two years as part of its ongoing Plan A 2020 programme which has given sustainability attributes to 63% of products within the first six months.

Help and advice on going green will be available at the touch of a smart-phone button for retailers

Green Retail app helps small firms save big on energy and waste

Zero Waste Scotland has unveiled a new app for iOS to help small businesses save money on their energy, water and waste bills.

Undergraduates have a chance to get a £5,000 bursary towards their studies under ReFood's scholarship programme.

ReFood unveils industry-first food waste scholarship

Food waste recycling specialist ReFood has unveiled the industry's first dedicated scholarship programme to inspire the next generation of sustainable students.

92% of sustainability managers report directly to the CEO or the executive committee

Sustainability leaders becoming increasingly influential

Sustainability leaders are being given more authority and responsibility in high-revenue firms according to a survey carried out by Verdantix

MPs call for Defra to show leadership on waste policy to help England meet its 2020 recycling target

Defra slammed for 'stepping back' from waste

Defra has been slammed for "stepping back" from waste and needs to show strong leadership in order to improve England's recycling rate, a cross-party committee of MPs has said.

The resource management industry views the circular economy in a positive light

Resource management industry gives thumbs up to circular economy, new report finds

The resource management sector has embraced the circular economy and is positive about the financial and environmental opportunities it offers, according to a new report.

Sainsbury's  will stop rewarding shoppers with Nectar points for every bag they reuse from April next year.

Sainsbury's to stop Nectar points for bag reuse

Retail giant Sainsbury's has announced that it will stop rewarding shoppers with Nectar points for every bag they reuse from April next year, as part of wider changes to its loyalty programme.

The world's largest furniture retailer installed 700,000 solar panels on its stores

Ikea scales up solar retail scheme

Ikea has announced it will expand sales of residential solar panels to eight new countries following a successful UK pilot.

The dual-mode technology provides solar energy in the daytime which means less is used from the grid

Solarcentury to build Africa's largest solar carport

UK solar company Solarcentury has been commissioned to design and construct Africa's largest solar carport on the uppermost storey of a car park at Garden City Mall, Nairobi.

A trial run reduced store energy usage by 20%

Every little helps: Tesco targets wasted energy with new management software

Tesco has contracted energy management firm ElsterEnergyICT to help reduce its energy consumption across its stores in the UK, Europe and Asia.

The vast majority of Americans say they would recycle beverage containers at a retail location if proper bins were available

PepsiCo targets recycling at petrol pumps to fuel packaging recovery rates

PepsiCo is to expand the number of recycling bins at petrol stations and convenience stores across the US, as part of a five-year plan to drive up packaging recovery rates.

Sainsburys claims that its new initiative will create a sustainable packaging cycle

Sainsbury's claims UK first with 100% recycled plastic food crate launch

Supermarket giant Sainsbury's is claiming that it is the first UK retailer to recycle its old food crates into more efficient ones made from 100% recycled material.

The North Face wants to tackle end-of-life product waste in the clothing industry

The North Face pushes 100% recycled polyester clothing goal by 2016

Outdoor clothing retailer The North Face has set a goal to use 100% recycled polyester fabric by 2016 - material that will be mainly sourced from post-consumer water bottles.

Walmart is increasingly looking to engage with its suppliers to drive sustainability initiatives such as Field to Market

Walmart and General Mills join forces to harvest more sustainable crops

General Mills chief sustainability officer Jerry Lynch has revealed how his company is working with Walmart to accelerate innovation in sustainable agriculture down the supply chain.

90% of UK online products are missing key energy consumption information

Online retailers worst for omitting product energy information

Online retailers across Europe are far behind bricks and mortar shops in providing information about the energy performance of domestic appliances, according to findings released today (24 July) by the Energy Saving Trust (EST).

IKEA has already increased the use of sustainably sourced cotton in its products to 72%, up from 34% in 2012

IKEA sets sights on making sustainable cotton affordable for all

IKEA is aiming to secure 100% cotton from more sustainable sources by the end of 2015 as it looks to broaden its impact and make sustainable cotton a mainstream commodity.

The study suggests that brand leaders need to build consumer trust around their environmental credentials

Brands 'not trusted' yet to deliver on socially responsible products

Brand leaders are at risk of losing one-third of their customers over the next few years if they don't align their product portfolios more closely with responsible consumption.

UK shoppers use an average of almost 11 plastic bags per month

Plastic bag usage on the up, WRAP data shows

The number of single-use plastic bags handed out to shoppers by UK supermarkets has risen for the fourth year running, according to new figures for WRAP.

The Wild Fisheries Annual Review will allow the public to judge Asda on its track record for sustainable seafood

Asda lands world's first sustainable seafood report

Fresh from reporting on the wide-ranging impacts of climate change on its supply chain, Asda has achieved a 'global first' by giving a full disclosure on how and where it sources its fish.

The company's food stores account for 62% of total water use

Co-operative Group prioritises water use with new 30% reduction goal

The Co-operative Group has set itself a new target to reduce water consumption across its operations by 30% by 2016, using 2010 as a baseline year. Scroll down for full report.

When it comes to food waste, is the thinking rounded or do too many people still picture only a linear model?

Is the food chain missing a closed-loop link?

The benefits of a circular model are clear when it comes to most waste streams, but how many people consider closing the loop when it comes to food waste? Can food go circular?

Current black CPET trays are undetectable using Near Infra-Red sorting equipment at recycling facilities

M&S and Sainsbury's unite to increase plastic tray recycling

A consortium of organisations from UK packaging, retail and recycling industries, led by Sainsbury's and Marks and Spencer (M&S), are to launch a market trial aimed at recycling up to 1.3 billion plastic food trays each year.

Jonathon Porritt (centre-right) addressed M&S stakeholders at a Plan A update in London last week

Jonathon Porritt: Investors still not convinced by sustainability reporting

Convincing investors about the value of corporate sustainability programmes remains an 'agonisingly slow process' for businesses, but there are signs that things are about to change.

Six of Nestle Waters' 28 US factories are classified as zero-waste-to-landfill sites

Nestlé Waters keen to price cost of recycling into bottle sales

Nestlé Waters is seeking to implement a market-based recycling model for its business whereby the cost of recycling its bottled water packaging is offset against the product retail price.

M&S chief executive Mark Bolland said the company needs to work with other corporations to 'get people moving'

M&S puts green customer engagement in the spotlight

Customer engagement has been singled out by Marks & Spencer (M&S) as one of the biggest challenges facing the global delivery of the retailer's Plan A 2020 sustainability programme.

Brabeck-Letmathe says the huge amount of food lost or wasted globally contributes significantly to water overuse

Nestlé chairman urges 'wasteful' supply chains to tackle food and water losses

Nestlé Group chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe has called for more action to be taken to reduce supply chain food waste, arguing it would also help address issues around water shortages.

Sainsbury's achieved its zero-waste-to-landfill target within three years

Closing the loop: Sainsbury's powers supermarket entirely by food waste

Sainsbury's in Cannock has today (21 July) become the UK's first supermarket to run on electricity generated solely from food waste.

More than half of online shoppers are prepared to pay a premium for socially responsible products

Majority of online consumers will pay more for sustainability

Consumer appetite for sustainable brands is growing as new research reveals that more than half of online shoppers are prepared to pay a premium for socially responsible products and services.

Welsh businesses in the commercial sector diverted an estimated 68% of waste from landfill in 2012

Welsh businesses walk the talk on waste-to-landfill reduction

Wales is moving ever-closer to adopting a resource-efficient circular economy with businesses in the commercial, construction and demolition sectors all recycling more than ever.

Kingfisher launched Net positive in October 2012 with an ambition to drive greater sustainability around timber, energy, innovation and communities

Kingfisher's Net Positive approach stimulates circular economy transition

DIY giant Kingfisher has made 'exciting progress' in the first year of its Net Positive plan; helping customers reduce energy usage by over 5TWh and cutting its own energy intensity by 10%.

Which? has questioned whether green energy subsidies for projects such as offshore wind farms will be value for money

Consumer group Which? questions virtue of green energy subsidies

Which? warns planned green energy subsidies may not be value for money, as more cost effective options may be overlooked.

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