The announcement was made by the company’s head of corporate sustainability Julian Walker-Palin at a supply chain event in London today, hosted by 2degrees.

He added that the business had also improved its energy efficiency across its operations by a third since 1995.

Going forward, Walker-Palin told delegates that the company’s focus was now on the supply chain – working to reduce waste arisings and sourcing products more sustainably.

His colleague Sarah Belmont, corporate sustainability manager at ASDA, gave more insight into how food waste was being tackled. One of the company’s most successful projects in this area was its ‘faster fresh’ initiative, she said.

“Here we looked to keep food fresher in the supply chain, to increase shelf life in-store and consequently reduce food waste. It resulted in giving stores extra time to sell food products to customers,” she explained.

Talking to edie, Belmont added that the project which ran from 2009 until the end of 2010 created 14,000 extra days of life for products across its supply chain.

Another area ASDA is focusing on is influencing customer purchasing habits and the company – along with two other partners – is working with the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) on a project around behavioural change which is due to report on findings early next year.

While Belmont would not be drawn on who the two other partners were, she told edie that her company’s remit was to look into issues around food planning and storage with the aim to reduce waste arisings in the home.

“Household food waste is a massive environmental problem that I don’t think is usually captured in discussion,” she added.

Maxine Perella

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