The UK’s retail sector has halved the amount of waste it sends to landfill in the last five years, according to a report by the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
The report, 'A Better Retailing Climate Progress Report 2010', reviews the target signed by major retailers two years ago for reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill to below 25 per cent by 2013.
The proportion of landfill waste has already fallen from 48 per cent in 2005 to 23 per cent in 2010 and the total weight of the waste produced has been reduced by three per cent in the same period, in absolute terms.
According to the report, retailers are successfully cutting landfill waste by re-using materials or finding partners that can re-use them, and by recycling and adopting alternative technologies for processing organic wastes, such as anaerobic digestion.
BRC director general Stephen Robertson said: "These remarkable achievements by retailers show their commitment to tackling climate change has not wavered, despite the tough trading conditions.
"Retailers have a proud record of delivering impressive environmental results on a voluntary basis – without the need for legislation.
"This includes helping their customers use 4.6 billion fewer single-use carrier bags between 2006 and 2010, despite major growth in sales."
In the same period, between 2005 and 2010, retailers have also achieved an 18 per cent reduction in energy-related emissions from buildings.
Energy efficiency measures in the sector include the widespread use of automated meter readers to monitor energy usage, and central controlled management systems to regulate store temperatures and lighting at Comet, Morrisons and WH Smith. Comet also uses remote systems to automatically power down computers in its offices and stores, out of normal trading hours.
Low energy lighting has been installed at ASDA, Comet, Debenhams, ELC and Mothercare and The Co-operative and Sainsbury’s have both introduced fridge blinds in some stores to reduce overnight energy usage. Last December, Tesco opened the world’s first zero carbon store in Ramsey, Cambridgeshire.
Posted under Waste Management and Other Service Sector on 28 September 2010