Sustainability And Waste - A UK Retail Perspective Oct 08


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Packaging performs vital functions in protecting people and products, but excessive packaging creates needless waste. How can packaging maximise its contribution to sustainability? How should retailers and the supply chain work together to optimise packaging design and use of resources?

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Sustainability And Waste - A UK Retail Perspective Oct 08

  1. 1. Sustainability and Waste: a UK Retail Perspective Jane Milne Director of Business Environment British Retail Consortium
  2. 2. The importance of retailing in the UK economy <ul><li>UK retail sales were £ 2 65bn in 2007, larger than the combined economies of Denmark and Portugal </li></ul><ul><li>The retail sector generates almost 8% of UK GDP </li></ul><ul><li>And employs 11% of the total UK workforce </li></ul>
  3. 3. The British Retail Consortium <ul><li>OUR VISION To work with our members to create a vibrant and sustainable retail industry </li></ul><ul><li>OUR MISSION </li></ul><ul><li>Promoting and defending retailers' interests </li></ul><ul><li>Advising retailers of threats and opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Improving the perceptions of retailing in the UK </li></ul>
  4. 4. Our members <ul><li>&quot;The BRC offers a valuable service to its members; providing information and expertise as well as representing the industry to Government and in the media on the important issues of the day.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Sir Terry Leahy, </li></ul><ul><li>Chief Executive, Tesco </li></ul>
  5. 5. Our markets <ul><li>Town centre </li></ul><ul><li>Community shops </li></ul><ul><li>Retail parks </li></ul><ul><li>Shopping malls </li></ul><ul><li>On-line and mail order </li></ul>
  6. 6. What is sustainability?
  7. 7. What do UK customers say? <ul><li>Retailers (supermarkets) are seen as the most responsible sector with regard to climate change, ahead of the general public, electricity and car companies, food and drink manufacturers and government </li></ul><ul><li>But there is still more to be done - only a minority are satisfied with current efforts on sustainability </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration is seen as an essential challenge if retailers are to move the agenda forward significantly </li></ul><ul><li>Sustainability Issues in the Retail Sector, Ipsos MORI 2007 </li></ul>
  8. 8. What do the legislators say? <ul><li>Regulations and policies being elaborated at all levels, for example: </li></ul><ul><li>EU Sustainable Consumption and Production proposals </li></ul><ul><li>UK Climate Change Bill </li></ul><ul><li>Defra and Scottish Government Waste strategies </li></ul><ul><li>London Councils Shopping Bags Bill </li></ul>
  9. 9. Why a retail initiative? “ During the next three to five years, most companies in.. ..heavy industries will need to act on climate change in a major way. Sectors that have so far featured less prominently in the debate, such as consumer goods, high tech, and financial services, will have to get moving as well.” Business Strategies for Climate Change, The McKinsey Quarterly 2008 “ Few believe that retailers alone can resolve the issue and recognise that shoppers will also need to play a part.” Sustainability Issues in the Retail Sector, Ipsos MORI 2007
  10. 10. A Better Retailing Climate <ul><li>Sector-wide </li></ul><ul><li>Leading actors and those taking early steps </li></ul><ul><li>Single, clear message </li></ul><ul><li>Seeking to work with partners to deliver real change </li></ul><ul><li>Launched 30 April </li></ul>
  11. 11. Our goals <ul><li>Reduce the direct environmental impact of our businesses </li></ul><ul><li>Manage our climate risks </li></ul><ul><li>Help our customers, staff and suppliers to reduce their environmental impacts and vulnerabilities </li></ul><ul><li>Engage in the public policy debate and support the Government in meeting its climate change goals </li></ul><ul><li>Report our achievements transparently and consistently </li></ul>
  12. 13. Reduce the direct environmental impact of our businesses <ul><ul><li>Cutting energy-related emissions from buildings by 15% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Aiming for a reduction of 15% in energy-related transport CO 2 emissions from stores deliveries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Measuring water-use in sites accounting for 75% of usage, and setting targets for reductions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Landfilling less than 50% of our waste, minimising waste from operations and managing sustainably unavoidable waste </li></ul></ul>
  13. 14. Help our customers to reduce their environmental impacts/ vulnerabilities <ul><li>Helping customers to understand more about climate change </li></ul><ul><li>Helping them make more informed decisions about </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Energy efficient and low carbon products </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Environmentally responsible ways to access our services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recycling and waste disposal </li></ul></ul><ul><li>And providing or supporting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduced consumer packaging waste </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recycling and end of life product disposal </li></ul></ul>
  14. 15. Help our suppliers to reduce their environmental impacts/ vulnerabilities <ul><ul><li>Working with our suppliers to understand better </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The carbon footprint of their production systems </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>And to offer products that </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Have a lower carbon footprint/higher energy efficiency </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Are more sustainable </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Have the most sustainable, and minimum effective, packaging </li></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 16. Packaging and sustainability - perceptions <ul><li>Consumer packaging makes up about 20% of household waste </li></ul><ul><li>And occupies about 80% of their consciousness! </li></ul><ul><li>Fresh produce is most often referred to </li></ul>
  16. 17. Waste reduction: the waste hierarchy <ul><li>UK retailers support the Government’s approach to resource conservation </li></ul><ul><li>But need also to consider the purpose of packaging </li></ul><ul><li>And put consumers at the heart of the process when designing systems </li></ul>
  17. 18. Packaging and sustainability - role <ul><li>Packaging is designed to: </li></ul><ul><li>Protect people </li></ul><ul><li>Protect product </li></ul><ul><li>Deliver statutory information </li></ul><ul><li>Deliver consumer advice e.g. use by dates, recipe suggestions </li></ul>
  18. 19. Future developments: technical <ul><li>Minimising appropriate to market </li></ul><ul><li>Lightweighting </li></ul><ul><li>Maximising recyclability </li></ul><ul><li>Bulk/denser transporting </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Smart’ packaging </li></ul>
  19. 20. Future developments: communications <ul><li>Need increasingly to ‘justify’ packaging i.e. it must be seen to be adding value </li></ul><ul><li>And must have a life beyond first use </li></ul><ul><li>Closed loops are the ultimate goal </li></ul><ul><li>But other acceptable solutions must also be developed/explained </li></ul>
  20. 21. Working together in a sustainable future <ul><li>Governments, customers, retailers all want sustainably produced goods, with minimal waste </li></ul><ul><li>Retailers are looking for suppliers who can deliver this vision </li></ul><ul><li>Innovation in packaging will be key to delivery </li></ul>