Morrisons boosts sustainability credentials with third party review
Morrisons claims to be the first of the four big retailers in the grocery sector to have its sustainable credentials independently verified.
The retailer used consultancy Two Tomorrows to validate its annual corporate responsibility report using the AA1000 Assurance Standard.
AA1000AS, last updated in 2008, provides criteria and a means of measuring whether sustainability claims have been met.
Morrisons head of corporate responsibility Steven Butts told edie.net: "Assurance helps us to get an outside view of our processes and critical feedback that informs our business how we are doing including what we're doing well and where we might improve.
"They come into the business to interview colleagues across the business and have free access to relevant data that demonstrates how we make any claim in the report. It helps to build greater confidence in the credibility of the information in our report.
"We all know how difficult it is to get meaningful information about environmental performance. We believe we're making good progress."
Two Tomorrows director Jason Perks said he was "encouraged" about the store's work in improving CSR and that, "future reviews should be even more specific and direct about some of these challenges."
Morrisons outlines a number of moves in its annual report to reduce food waste such as removing the 'best before' dates on fruit and vegetables, which it says "will encourage customers to rely on their judgement".
Last year it continued to change its recycling advice labeling from 'Recyclopedia' to the clearer 'Recycle Now' scheme. It also plans to revamp its existing Great Taste Less Waste Campaign this year.
Morrisons has also begun working with the Company Shop, which sells own branded surplus food that would otherwise be sent to landfill, at discounted prices. Items include those in damaged cases or with packaging design issues.
The store added that it reduces prices on foods close to the end of shelf life to help sell them and works with national food charity FareShare, which distributes produce that can't be sold to the needy and vulnerable.
In terms of Courthauld Commitment, Morrisons reported that the last figures it submitted to WRAP showed it had reduced the weight of its packaging by 7% equating to a 4% reduction in its carbon impact.
The retailer also provides recycling banks and works with charities the Salvation Army and Save the Children. Last year 3,425 tonnes of material were donated across its clothing banks and 251 tonnes of Christmas cards were collected for recycling.