UK retailer to judge suppliers on packaging

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 23rd October 2009

Asda plans to roll out a version of a scheme introduced by parent Wal-Mart to encourage suppliers to produce more sustainable packaging.

The UK’s second-largest retailer is working on its own concept of Wal-Mart’s “packaging scorecard” and is looking to launch the programme in the first quarter of 2010.

The scorecard was introduced in the US last year to allow buyers at Wal-Mart to judge whether suppliers were working to reduce the impact of their packaging on the environment.

Claire Costello, Asda’s general manager for central buying, said the retailer had created a “sustainable value network” of manufacturers and packaging firms to draw up the criteria for its own scorecard.

Details of the UK scorecard are still being discussed, Costello said, but it is expected to be introduced early next year.

Costello told an industry conference in London today (22 October) that Asda needed to work together with its suppliers on sustainability programmes as the retailer, through its stores and distribution network, can only control a fraction of its carbon emissions.

“We can directly influence only 8% of our carbon footprint,” Costello told the IGD’s Packaging & Product Resource Efficiency conference.

Versions of the Wal-Mart scorecard have been launched in Canada and the imminent roll out of the initiative into the UK will encourage the retailer’s suppliers in the country to look to make its packaging more environmentally friendly.

Wal-Mart has publicly said the scorecard helps its US buyers to “show preference” to suppliers that can show they are “producing more sustainable packaging”.

just-food is the world’s leading portal for the global pre-packaged food and retail industries. Its daily mix of breaking news, views, analysis and research serves over 100,000 food executives each month.