Sustainable Business Covered podcast: Advancing the plastics debate with Waitrose and Co-op
As part of a week of action on single-use plastics and the launch of edie's Plastics Hub, the Sustainable Business Covered podcast returns for 2019 with exclusive, plastic-focused interviews with sustainability experts at the Co-op, Surfers Against Sewage and Waitrose.
M&S removes plastic packaging and 'best-before' dates from produce
Retail giant Marks & Spencer (M&S) has begun trialling dozens of plastic-free fruit and vegetable lines without 'best-before' date stickers, in a bid to reduce consumer packaging and food waste outputs.
Iceland collects more than 300,000 plastic bottles in reverse vending trial
Frozen food retailer Iceland has unveiled the results of its trial of an in-store deposit return scheme for plastic bottles, revealing that the scheme has captured more than 300,000 bottles since its launch in May 2018.
Stella McCartney: Policy must encourage businesses to make fashion sustainable
Designer and green activist Stella McCartney has called on policymakers to implement laws which will incentivise big-name fashion brands to shift away from cradle-to-grave models and poor supply chain practices.
Merlin Entertainments begins single-use plastic phase out, starting with straws
The Legolands, Sea Life and Madame Tussauds operator has launched a review into the sale and distribution of single-use plastic items across its global estate, pledging a removal of plastic straws from its operations by the end of 2018.
Five ways retailers are using Black Friday to champion CSR
Today (23 November) marks Black Friday - but while the majority of companies and consumers conform to this spending spree, a select few a using the occasion to champion resource efficiency, social sustainability and environmental conservation. Here, edie outlines how five companies that are turning that trend on its head.
Black Friday is the antithesis of sustainable business, but there's an alternative
It's that time again. Today is Black Friday, the biggest sales event of the year, as Britain's retailers stack high and sell low before Christmas. Sustainable Development Goal 12 (sustainable consumption and production patterns) seems all but forgotten for the time being.
MPs urge online fashion giants to disclose environmental and social impacts
In letters to five of the UK's largest online-only fashion retailers, including Amazon and ASOS, the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) has called on brands within the so-called "fast fashion" industry to disclose the full extent of their environmental and social impacts.
Why Iceland's deforestation-focused Christmas advert won't be on TV this year
Iceland's decision to use part of its Christmas communications campaign on an advert that highlighted the destructive nature of palm oil has been blocked from airing on UK television channels, but why?
M&S unveils reusable bags made with 75% 'ocean-bound' plastic
Retail giant Marks and Spencer (M&S) has unveiled a new range of reusable carrier bags made with 75% post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic in a bid to boost consumer awareness around plastic pollution and raise money for recycling infrastructure.
Government unveils new £15m scheme to tackle retail food waste
The UK Government has today (1 October) announced that it will spend £15m on a new initiative aimed at redistributing almost £1bn worth of food waste from supermarkets, other retailers and manufacturers.
One foot in ‘today’, the other in ‘tomorrow’
The retail sector has done much in the last decade on sustainability, but it is increasingly apparent that all this has just been a dress rehearsal, a beginning not an end.
Co-op switches to compostable bags as it pledges to eliminate single-use plastics
The Co-op has revealed it will swap around 60 million plastic carrier bags with compostable alternatives that can be used as food waste caddy liners, as part of a wider goal to "remove" single-use plastics from its product offerings.
Responsible Retail: edie launches sector insight report at conference
edie has this week launched a new report providing an in-depth look at the practical steps that can be taken by sustainability professionals in the retail industry to achieve a sustainable future, today.
Mission Possible: Achieving a sustainable future for RETAIL
The second in our brand-new sector insight report series provides an in-depth exploration of the steps that sustainability and energy professionals within Britain's retail industry can take to achieve a sustainable future, today.
M&S to phase out plastic cutlery in cafés
Marks and Spencer (M&S) will start phasing out plastic cutlery across its in-store cafés next month in a move it claims will remove 75 million pieces of plastic from its waste stream annually.
Landsec hints at energy storage to bolster Britain's biggest shopping centre solar array
The UK's largest commercial property developer, Landsec, has revealed that it is sourcing 22% less grid electricity for its White Rose shopping centre in Leeds after installing a 2,902-panel solar array on the roof.
Walmart reduced supply chain emissions by 20 million tonnes last year
The world's largest retailer has revealed that its suppliers collectively reduced their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by more than 20 million tonnes in 2017, as the company pushes towards a target to cut supply chain emissions by one billion tonnes by 2030.
Aldi on track to be carbon-neutral by 2019
Discount supermarket chain Aldi has today (August 9) announced it is on track to achieve carbon neutrality in its operations in the UK and Ireland by the end of next year, following a string of multi-million-pound investments in renewable energy arrays and energy efficiency measures.
Co-op partners with The Real Junk Food Project to cut food waste
The Co-op has announced that it has started a new partnership with food redistribution scheme The Real Junk Food Project, in a bid to reduce its food waste output while tackling hunger in Leeds.
Landsec partners with big-name retailers on shopping centre refill scheme
Property developer Landsec has launched a new water bottle refill scheme in its shopping centres, partnering up with a host of big-name retailers and food and beverage brands in a bid to drive customers away from single-use plastic bottles.
Lidl launches 'Too Good to Waste' fruit and veg discount box to cut back on food waste
In a bid to cut back on food waste, Lidl UK has launched a trial run selling boxes of fruit and vegetables no longer considered at their best at a discount price.
Sustainable shopping: How are UK supermarkets tackling plastic pollution?
Whether it's products containing microbeads, items sold in unnecessary single-use packaging, or consumers opting for plastic bags at the checkout, Britain's supermarkets are at the epicentre of the plastics problem. Here, edie examines the new actions retailers are taking to reduce avoidable plastic waste.
Kingfisher to install battery storage at B&Q distribution centre
Home improvement retail giant Kingfisher has announced (30 July) that it will install energy storage facilities at one of its B&Q distribution centres as part of its overall goal to become a net-positive business by 2050.
Available on demand: The SDG 'power hour' webinar
Sustainability experts from BT, the British Retail Consortium (BRC), the UK Stakeholders for Sustainable Development (UKSSD) and DNV GL are all featured in edie's webinar focused on business engagement with the SDGs, which is now available to watch on demand.
edie Explains: Onsite solar
What is onsite solar and how could it work for a business? What are the business benefits from installing onsite solar? And what considerations and funding opportunities need to be examined to build the business case? This free edie Explains guide gives you everything you need to know.
edie Explains: The Internet of Things
What is the Internet of Things (IoT) and how is it relevant to corporate sustainability? What are the potential business benefits of deploying IoT technology across your operations? And what does the future hold for the IoT? This free edie Explains guide gives you everything you need to know.
Ikea to ban plastic straws in all its UK stores and restaurants by October 2018
Global furniture retailer Ikea has announced (July 16) that it will stop selling packs of single-use plastic straws in its UK and Ireland stores later this year, as part of its commitment to eliminate all single-use plastics from its global product range by 2020.
Speaker line-up confirmed for edie's SDG 'Power Hour' webinar
Sustainability experts from BT, the British Retail Consortium (BRC), the UK Stakeholders for Sustainable Development (UKSSD) and DNV GL are all set to feature in a live edie webinar focused on business engagement with the SDGs, taking place on 26 July.
Sustainable Business Covered podcast: In the green room with Whitbread's James Pitcher
Welcome back to the green room - edie's exclusive interview hub for sustainability leaders, brought to you as part of the Sustainable Business Covered podcast. Up next to provide the insights of a leading sustainable business: Whitbread's director of sustainability James Pitcher.
Report: UK supermarkets failing to protect supply chain workers' rights
The UK's largest supermarkets "routinely" implement weak human rights policies in their supply chains, "exerting relentless pressure" on their suppliers while "trapping" overseas workers in poverty, a new report from Oxfam has claimed.
Tesco and Target join CDP's supply chain initiative
Tesco and Target have committed to a programme to cut emissions, tackle deforestation and promote water efficiency in their supply chains, through a partnership with CDP.
The Body Shop exploring 'back-up plans' to help reach energy targets
EXCLUSIVE: The Body Shop has introduced a new energy saving guide and is considering a carbon offset scheme as a "back-up plan” to meet its 2020 sustainability targets, following slow progress on its renewable power, energy efficiency and packaging innovation aims.
Stella McCartney opens London store with 'purest air in the capital'
Luxury fashion brand Stella McCartney has fitted its new London store with cutting-edge filter technology in a bid to create the capital's cleanest pocket of air.
Breaking the plastics habit: The changing role of business in achieving a circular economy
Between increasing consumer pressures and sluggish policy changes, corporates are being stretched to their limits to tackle the plastics problem - but it is critical that this sudden step-change in awareness of the issue does not lead to unintended consequences, as edie's Matt Mace investigates.
Paradigm shift: How ‘unsatisfied customers’ are driving M&S’s sustainability progress
With Marks & Spencer (M&S) publishing the latest update to its Plan A sustainability strategy this week, the retailer’s director of sustainable business Mike Barry explains how mounting consumer pressures have helped to accelerate progress towards delivering sustainable products and packaging.
Network Rail targets plastics, cups and coffee grounds in latest waste drive
Network Rail has unveiled sweeping plans to reduce waste across the country's busiest rail stations, by implementing a ban on plastic cutlery and expanding recycling schemes for disposable cups and waste coffee grounds.
Ben & Jerry's trials blockchain platform to offset consumer carbon footprints
Unilever-owned ice cream brand Ben & Jerry's is piloting a carbon offsetting scheme using blockchain technology that enables customers to purchase carbon credits that help with global anti-deforestation initiatives.
Tesco cuts carbon emissions 13% in a year
Tesco has revealed that it reduced its carbon emissions by 13% in 2017 against a 2016 baseline, as it strives towards a science-based target of becoming a carbon-neutral business by 2050.
The state of sustainability 2018: edie publishes final insight report for UK businesses
edie's year-long sector insight report series concludes today (14 May) with the final edition which rounds up the key sustainability drivers, challenges and opportunities facing Britain's biggest industries.
Co-op to trial reverse vending for plastic bottles at UK festivals
Co-op will become the first retailer in the UK to use reverse vending machines as part of a deposit return scheme from plastic containers, with trials set to take place at pop-up stores across UK festivals this summer.
The Supply Chain Sustainability Handbook
This handbook outlines eight essential opportunities that businesses can seize upon now to drive supply chain sustainability. Each page of the handbook provides an overview of the opportunity, supplemented by top tips, ‘in action’ case studies and expert comments from businesses that will be represented at edie’s Sustainable Supply Chains 2018 conference in June.
Reusable cup use climbs 156% at Starbucks during 5p charge trials
The number of consumers using a reusable cup in Starbucks stores located across London has shot up by 156% in just six weeks, following the introduction of a 5p paper cup charge.
UK retailers 'will not suffer financial losses' from bottle deposit scheme
Retailers will not suffer financial losses from the introduction of a plastic bottle deposit return scheme (DRS) in the UK, according to an analysis of a similar system in Norway.
Unilever joins On-Pack Recycling Label scheme to boost plastics recycling
Unilever has joined the On-Pack Recycling Label (OPRL) scheme to promote the recyclability of its products to consumers, while a six-month trial of clean-cold technology in the company's ice cream transportation trucks has delivered cost-effective environmental benefits.
Accelerating the shift: 10 industry game-changers for low-carbon vehicles
This insight report, produced in partnership with UK Power Networks Services, investigates some of the game-changing developments which are driving green mobility.
Why you need to know what the animals in your supply chain are being fed
Earlier this month, sitting in a packed room full of food and feed industry executives from around the world, we spoke together with leading retailers on why animal feed is one of the critical sustainability issue of our times.
Paving the way to a better built environment
Construction businesses lie at the juncture of some of the world's most pressing environmental and societal challenges. Here, the UK Green Building Council's chief executive Julie Hirigoyen charts the progress being made across the industry in the key areas of climate change, resource use, nature and biodiversity, health & wellbeing and socio-economic impact.
Why the retail industry is taking a leading role in delivering the SDGs
Last month saw a landmark moment. Better Retail Better World, a retail industry initiative to tackle global challenges highlighted by the UN, including modern slavery and decent work, sustainable economic growth, inequalities, climate change and responsible consumption and production, commenced.
Greggs builds appetite for water efficiency with service switch
On-the-go food retailer Greggs has chosen water retail company Business Stream to supply services to all of its managed outlets and major production sites across the UK.
Energy innovation: Delivering the smart grid of the future, today
The mission is clear: we must accelerate the shift to zero-carbon energy systems in order to slash emissions and mitigate global warming. But this mission IS possible: renewable energy costs are tumbling and new approaches to energy management such as battery storage and demand response are offering new ways for organisations to operate more sustainably.
McDonald's to reduce emissions by a third under approved science-based targets
McDonald's has become the first global restaurant company to have an emissions reduction target approved by the Science-Based Target Initiative (SBTI), as the fast food giant outlines plans to reduce carbon emissions by 150 million tonnes.
Financial incentives for recyclability the way forward, says Co-op
A fiscal system that rewards recyclability and labelling, coupled with reducing the range of polymers available for use, would enable retailers and waste management firms to better tackle the rise of plastics pollution, according to the Co-op's environment manager Iain Ferguson.
UK retail giants sign up to collaborative SDG commitment
A group of major retailers, including Ikea, Debenhams and Sainsbury's, have signed up to a series of commitments to collaboratively tackle pressing societal issues by using the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework.
Sustainable Business Covered podcast: Sustainable packaging and the plastics problem
edie travels to the Museum of Brands to discuss solutions to plastic waste and wider resource efficiency issues with business representatives from Iceland, Tetra Pak and James Cropper.
The big plastics debate: Industry must be fearless in zero-waste pursuit, Iceland claims
Iceland said it would not be afraid to make mistakes when tackling the issue of plastics waste, during a unique panel debate also featuring Co-op, Marks and Spencer (M&S) and Coca-Cola.
The public mood is changing – how can business talk to customers about sustainability?
The public mood appears to be changing. David Attenborough's emotive Blue Planet backed by on-going campaigns in the Daily Mail and on Sky has focussed attention on single use plastics. Michael Gove, eager for a positive post-Brexit platform, has sensed an opportunity and started talking about new legislation. Sustainability is creeping up the agenda, customers are getting inquisitive about company behaviour. How should business respond?
Honda to play central role in V2G demonstrator project
Car giant Honda has teamed up with other firms, local bodies and academic institutions for a new project that aims to demonstrate the business case for Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technologies across the UK.
British retailers linked to polluting supplier factories
Marks & Spencer, H&M and ASOS are among the global companies that have agreed to incorporate new measures into sourcing policies for textile fibres, after a new report linked Tesco, Asda and Next to Asian viscose factories that are polluting the environment and contributing to premature deaths.
Starbucks trials 5p paper cup charge
Starbucks has today (26 February) announced a 5p surcharge trial on paper cups in select London stores in a bid to help reduce waste and encourage the uptake of reusable cups.
Are reuse and refill missing pieces of our sustainable packaging jigsaw?
Last week the Church of England and Members of Parliament pledged to go single-use plastic-free for the 40 days of Lent, while the BBC plans to be similarly plastic-free in its operations by 2020. These are the latest (at time of writing at least) in an ever-growing list of sustainable packaging commitments being made at an almost breakneck pace.
Valentines Day: Chocolates driving deforestation across the globe, report claims
A box of chocolates may not be the most environmentally friendly way to show your love this Valentine's Day, a report published today claims.
Water retail market reaches 100,000 milestone
More than 100,000 supply points have switched water retailer in the first 10 months of the market, according to figures released by the market operator - MOSL.
edie Explains: ISO 14001
This updated edie Explains guide, produced in association with NQA, provides an in-depth summary of the ISO 14001 Standard which is used to establish and maintain a continuous level of environmental performance improvements.
Co-op goes plastic free for own-brand teabags
In the latest example of business attempting to combat plastic pollution, the Co-op has become the first retailer to develop a fully-biodegradable paper tea bag - removing all uses of polypropylene plastic as a result.
Iceland pledges to remove plastic from own-brand packaging by 2023
Frozen food giant Iceland has committed to become the world's first major retailer to remove plastic packaging from its own brand products by 2023.
Amazon completes lucrative solar roof installation
Online retailer Amazon has had a 964 kWp rooftop solar system installed at a new logistics centre in central Italy, as the company continues its transition to source 100% renewable electricity.
Report: UK jewellers 'must do more' to combat potential human rights abuses
The billion-pound jewellery industry is still "tainted" by hidden cases of human rights abuses and modern slavery, with a new report urging large UK brands to increase reporting responsibilities to ensure supply chains are fully-mapped and audited.
Nestlé to redistribute site-level food waste set aside for animal feed
A new initiative from Nestlé and food redistribution organisation Company Shop could increase the amount of food redistributed from UK operations by two million meals annually, by using site assessments to reduce waste at its source.
WRAP names new Courtauld 2025 signatories as focus shifts to consumer waste
WRAP has announced the names of the 24 new signatories to its flagship Courtauld Commitment 2025 to boost sustainability in the food and drink sector, with a first-year review outlining plans to tackle consumer food waste in 2018.
Ikea begins work on 'most sustainable' UK store
Global furniture retailer Ikea has started construction on a £100m new store in London which will be designed with an array of sustainable features.
Food and drink manufacturing sustainability: a journey, rather than a destination
The FDF's head of climate change and energy policy Stephen Reeson and environment policy manager David Bellamy provide their take on the key findings from edie's recent sector insight report which explored the state of sustainability in food and drink manufacturing.
Black Friday: An ideal selling point for sustainability-conscious retailers?
Black Friday, which has since birthed its tech-savvy offspring Cyber Monday, is upon us again, but while retailers attend to whip up a frenzy to boost sales some companies are using the commercial event to highlight their commitments to sustainability.
As Black Friday approaches, let’s remember the need to eliminate forced labour
November sees some of the busiest days in the shopping calendar, Singles' Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Businesses will be focusing on meeting the extraordinary levels of consumer demand by studying their supply chains and eliminating any inefficiencies, making the most of technological tools like data analytics.
Homebase pledges ban on bee-harming chemicals amid green group pressure
Retail giant Homebase has committed to phase out toxic pesticides from its garden plant range after months of heavy pressure from green campaigners.
Responsible packaging – don’t ignore the bigger picture
Plastic products and packaging are increasingly generating debate and discussion. And rightly so, as the extent of plastic pollution in the world's oceans is becoming clearer. Although there's strong commitment among retailers to tackling the problem, the industry's role is coming under some scrutiny.
Ikea UK's resource-efficiency drive blossoms as revenues surge
Ikea UK has made strides to become a "truly circular retailer", with the company's annual report highlighting resource-efficiency progress and a second consecutive year of zero waste sent to landfill during a period of economic growth.
Marston's brewer receives water self-supply licence
Brewery and pub retailer Marston's, which operates more than 1,600 pubs, bars and lodges has been granted a self-supply licence to supply its own water and wastewater services.
Nearly half of all fresh potatoes thrown away daily by UK households
Nearly half of the edible fresh potatoes bought by UK householders each day are thrown away - nearly 2.7 million of them per day, and at a "staggering" annual cost of £230m, figures show.
How business can help halt the rise in global emissions
There's been a lot of media coverage over the past week about rising levels of CO2 and the likely impacts, despite international efforts to cut greenhouse gases.
Renewable energy in the supply chain
This new report focuses on the opportunity for companies to amplify their carbon reduction efforts by driving renewables through their supply chains. Given how easy it is to choose renewable electricity in the UK, businesses could be doing more to engage with their suppliers.
Aldi joins World Banana Forum to strengthen supply chain
Aldi UK and Ireland has backed its commitment to sourcing 100% sustainable bananas by joining a global forum that promotes fair working conditions and environmental standards for banana production.
In practice: UK's largest landlord-funded distribution warehouse rooftop solar installation
The landlord/tenant relationship can be a barrier when it comes to sustainability and onsite generation, but both Dixons Carphone and LondonMetric will benefit from the new solar installation at a distribution warehouse in Newark.
IKEA moves step closer to 'energy independence' as sales rise
Swedish retail giant IKEA has revealed that it now owns more wind turbines than stores, as it closes in on a target to become "energy independent" by 2020.
Food retailers should take advantage of the HFC phase-down for a more sustainable future
Since the signing of the Montreal Protocol in 1987, a global agreement to phase-down CFCs and other substances that deplete the ozone layer, we've come a long way. The hole in the ozone layer has made a significant recovery and perhaps more importantly, the agreement demonstrated that the world can make and stick to a challenging decision for the global good.
Does the traditional retail model still work?
The retail landscape is being transformed. Online retail in the UK now makes up around 15 percent of overall retail sales. But what does this mean for the future of responsible retailing and customer engagement?
Cradle to Cradle: How C&A is leading the fashion industry's circular transition
EXCLUSIVE: Fashion retailer C&A is driving circularity by selling apparel products made from sustainable cotton, and the Dutch-based firm is eager to bring the rest of the industry on its journey.
Global deposit return schemes
Deposit return schemes add a small deposit on to the cost of drinks which is refunded to the consumer when the container is returned. Hence, the incentive for consumers to recycle their drinks containers is much greater. Containers, such as glass, can be refilled and other such as cans can be recycled, eliminating wastage of the containers.
What does the future hold for sustainable manufacturing
We are witnessing an era of unprecedented technological change, with the fourth Industrial Revolution now well underway.
Why employee engagement is vital in developing sustainable retail brands
Following the recent Responsible Retail event, Harvey Laud, CEO of Helistrat, sustainability management consultancy, discusses how improving stakeholder engagement can help UK retailers realise their sustainability ambitions.
Pret A Manger's head of sustainability questions MP's coffee cup inquiry
Pret A Manger's head of sustainability committed to "maximising" renewable and reusable packaging for coffee cups, but has questioned whether the Environmental Audit Committee's inquiry into disposable coffee cups is the best way to promote resource efficiency and sustainability in the UK.
In practice: Network Rail's closed-loop partnership to recycle waste coffee grounds
Striking a partnership with coffee waste collectors Bio-Bean enabled Network Rail to make steps in reducing waste at its station, and also got retailers and staff to boost coffee collection to be used for renewable power.
The seven buzzwords in responsible retail
Debbie Griffiths offers a round-up of some of the most frequently uttered words from edie's Responsible Retailer conference.
Information overload: Why retailers must finetune sustainability communication
Retailers must be careful not to "bombard" consumers with information, despite heightened external pressures to champion Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues, according to delegates from Kingfisher, H&M and Debenhams.
Four ways to create real business value by addressing climate change
BITC member Carbon Clear's chief executive Mark Chadwick outlines why acknowledging and acting on climate change has evolved from mitigation practices to capturing holistic business opportunities.
Starbucks launches leftover food discount scheme
Starbucks has launched a new food waste scheme which will see products near expiry sold at half price during the last hour of trading, with all profits going to help prevent child hunger.
Keeping up with the customers – why CSR is no longer enough
We are living in an age of information abundance. Consumers are increasingly becoming more demanding and more dubious that brands can keep the promises they make. There is often a sizeable gap between expectation and reality in the products that people buy, and nowhere is this gap more obvious than in the "sustainable" product sector.
Responsible Retailer: How House of Fraser is reinvigorating its sustainability approach
From being ahead of the curve on supply chain ethics to exploring the adoption of science-based targets, House of Fraser is rapidly making waves in the industry through its "fast moving" Responsible Retailer strategy.
Whitbread first hospitality firm to be granted water self-supply licence
Regulator Ofwat has granted hospitality giant Whitbread a self-supply licence to deliver its own water and wastewater services for all of its brands in England.
Belfast shopping centre slashes electricity bill by a third
A West Belfast retail development has reportedly slashed its electricity costs by 33% through an energy efficiency lighting upgrade.