Retailers vow to cut waste

Representatives of the UK retail industry have agreed to reduce carbon emissions by 25 per cent by 2020.

At an event at the House of Commons the British Retail Consortium launched its initiative: "A Better Retailing Climate: Driving Resource Efficiency".

The report shows that the 25 signatories, who represent half of UK retail by turnover, exceeded  targets for reducing waste, energy and water usage up to 2013. 

It also details retailers' responsible sourcing, sustainable products and reducing water and energy usage.  

Supermarkets signed up to the initiative have also committed to publish their data on food waste created at the retail stage.

Other new targets announced include a commitment to reducing emissions from refrigeration gases by 80 per cent by 2020, and to divert less than one per cent of waste to landfill by the same year.

British Retail Consortium director general Helen Dickinson said: "Retailers in the UK have made significant progress in reducing their impact on the environment.  I’m delighted that the signatories are pushing themselves to achieve against even more ambitious commitments, having gone above and beyond the last set of targets.

"The strength of commitment is plain to see when you look at how much progress has been made in the last decade: for example, only six per cent of waste was sent to landfill in 2013, down from 47 per cent in 2005.  But retailers will continue to keep this momentum going: they recognise that it makes business sense and delivers real environmental benefits as well as value for their customers."

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