Supermarkets – who are the good and bad environmentally ?

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Our Supermarkets have a huge hold over us in so many ways, so perhaps it’s not a bad place to start trying to be greener?

A number of them have been trying to tell us that they care for the environment – so who really does?

It takes more than bags to be green....

The Co-op and Marks & Spencer were this week named as the UK’s “greenest” supermarkets in a survey which rated retailers’ progress in areas such as sustainable and ethical sourcing.

Tesco, Asda and Netto were identified as the three worst performing companies – probably no surprise there!

The environmental and ethical performance of 19 of the country’s leading supermarkets and convenience stores were scrutinised in the survey, including detailed analysis of the companies’ corporate social responsibility reports.

The results reveal a clear divide between the top two performing supermarkets – the Co-op and M&S – and the other 17 companies.

Policies praised at these two major high street chains include the Co-op’s fish policy, whose goal is to operate its fish-sourcing policy in line with the aims and objectives of the Marine Stewardship Council. The Co-op also sources 98% renewable electricity in its 5,500 sites across the UK.

M&S was highly praised for its palm oil policies. It now stipulates the use of sustainable palm oil in many of its own-brand goods and is advised on the issue by WWF. M&S also scored well for its climate change policies which include a target of using non-crop derived biofuels in its fleet of vehicles.

If you’re lucky enough to live close to a local independent shop that has an ethical stocking policy then this ii my opinion is where you ought to shop. However the reality is that the vast majority of us now shop in supermarkets and therefore shoppers should choose either the Co-op or M&S if they value ‘green issues’.

These two companies have made genuine efforts to reduce the environmental and ethical impact of their operations and have demonstrated that they are setting the environmental agenda for supermarkets.

Now it is time for the others to follow and exceed these targets.

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