Asda and Co-op are working together to reduce the burden of collecting sustainability data on mutual suppliers.
As part of an initiative with 2degrees, a digital platform that encourages collaboration, suppliers that sell to the two supermarkets will be able to submit data on waste, water and energy to both simultaneously.
It is hoped this will increase efficiency in the supply chain by reducing the need to duplicate information, giving suppliers more time to focus on other aspects of their business such as product quality.
Laura Babbs, sustainability manager at Asda, said allowing suppliers to reduce duplicating data requests had engaged the supply chain and created opportunities to drive efficiencies.
“We appreciate that smaller businesses may not have the resource, so providing this reporting function and enabling them to share data will save them time and put their efforts into other critical areas,” she said.
Sarah Wakefield, food sustainability manager at Co-op, said: “We are heavily focused on building long-term relationships with our suppliers and this forms part of a better and more collaborative way of us working together.”
Martin Chilcott, CEO of 2degrees, said feedback to both Asda and Co-op showed completing multiple different data requests was burning through suppliers’ resources. “Simplifying life for suppliers, while getting important data is essential and we invite other retailers to join this revolution to help their supply chain save time, money and resource,” he said.
A spokesperson for 2degrees explained that the collaboration required no direct changes as both retailers need the same data from their suppliers.
Canned goods firm Princes, which supplies both Asda and Co-op, said the data-sharing initative had benefits. David McDiarmid, corporate relations director, said: “With all our manufacturing locations sharing their data between these customers we have cut down duplicated effort, saving time and making the entire process a lot more efficient.”
Princes has been criticised in the past over their sustainability, and were ranked near the bottom of Greenpeace’s tinned tuna league tables in 2014 and 2015.
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