UK’s Tesco wins drinks Green Retailer of the Year

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 23rd March 2010

European drinks trade publication the drinks business has awarded Tesco their Green Retailer of the Year award, for demonstrated business practices in improving environmental credentials in the drinks retailing industry.

Tesco reports that their efforts in packaging reduction, efficient distribution and customer education have had a tangible positive effect on retailing alcoholic drinks.

Initiatives such as Tetra Pak wine packaging, made from 75% low-carbon paperboard, have been extremely successful, with around 20,000 units of Spanish wine selling per week since launch.

Tesco has also been active in driving glass reduction. Light-weighting bottles has saved 5,500 MTs of glass on Tesco’s Own Label wines and even lighter versions are in the works. Proportions of recycled glass in Own Label bottles has been driven up, and now stands at 90% recycled content in green glass bottles and 35% for clear glass.

Carbon footprint reduction efforts have also been made, with Tesco importing New World Wines in bulk and bottling them in the UK, saving 52,000 tonnes in carbon emissions. Wines are ferried from Liverpool to Manchester by barge, taking 50 lorries off the road per week, saving 700,000 miles of emissions. Delivery vehicles have been fitted with black boxes which monitor fuel consumption, and drivers have been given advanced training to maximise fuel efficiency.

Tesco has also introduced an extensive labelling policy, with new carbon-footprint labels being added to their Own Label wines, in conjunction with the winery Highfield Estate in NZ, as well as a variety of other products.

Tesco maintains that reducing price is vital to their committment to greener choices. Their bulk shipping efforts reduce price and carbon at the same time. Increased efficiency saves money as well as resources.

“We must make low-carbon products, behaviours and lifestyles the most attractive, not the least-attractive, options. We must make green easy, fashionable, affordable and desirable,” said Tesco CEO Sir Terry Leahy.