Asda to harness circular economy for product design

Asda examines its environmental impact and looks to redesign products to minimise waste.

Posted on 23 May 2013

Asda examines its environmental impact and looks to redesign products to minimise waste.
 
Speaking at the Responsible Business Summit on Tuesday 7 May, head of sustainability, Julian Walker-Palin, explained the supermarket’s commitment to getting the most out of its resources, saying, “rather than just grabbing things out of the ground fresh every time, how would we design for reuse, how would we design to minimise resources needed for a product”.

Challenges


This approach though, he warned, would not be without its challenges.

Senior sustainability practitioners at parent group, Walmart, have prioritised durability in materials used in manufacturing over lowest cost, Walker-Palin told the audience.

This has often meant that products have lasted longer but cost the consumer more – and this can be a difficult proposition to sell.

Opportunities


On the subject of encouraging wider business to invest in sustainability initiatives, Walker-Palin advised “looking for opportunities that would deliver against the main goals of business”.

He used the buying of certified palm oil as an example, which has been shown to make yields up to four times greater. This will inevitably become an investment in lower prices for the future.

 

Posted under Material and Packaging Efficiency, Waste Management and Food and Drink on 23 May 2013