Shop buyers push sustainability agenda

4 October 2009

05 October 2009

Procurement is enjoying growing influence over sustainability efforts at some of Europe's biggest retailers, a study by Forum for the Future has found.

The sustainable development charity interviewed senior executives at companies including Tesco, Subway and Metro Group, and found buyers were increasingly leading efforts to reduce carbon emissions, particularly in food supply chains and over the purchase of water.

Shannon Carr-Shand, sustainability adviser at Forum for the Future, said: "Leaders are more likely to impose strict sustainability criteria on their supply chains and consider the indirect, as well as the direct, impacts of their services. They are also more willing to take the lead with their consumers, supplying more sustainable products."

The report concluded that while supermarkets are making "significant" progress on sourcing sustainable fish and certified palm oil, companies are failing to improve in other areas such as packaging.

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