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Driving Sustainable Change: Tesco Embrace Eco-Friendly Initiatives

Date: 9th February 2024 Retail

In recent years, sustainability has become a paramount concern for retailers worldwide. The influence of environmentally conscious consumers, coupled with the ripple effect of documentaries like Blue Planet, has prompted a closer examination of business operations and a heightened demand for transparency regarding climate impact. Continue reading to learn more about supermarket sustainability and small business decisions that can be made to have a great impact. 

Recognising the damage of retail’s carbon emissions

One industry that plays a significant role in this movement is the UK retail sector, contributing approximately 215 MtCO2e annually in goods’ lifecycle footprint. This puts the industry at the forefront of greenhouse gas emissions, surpassing even all road transport combined.

Recognising the need for a systematic and long-term approach, supermarkets are reshaping their strategies to operate in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. Beyond reducing waste and adopting more efficient processes, sustainability initiatives aim to build trust with customers. In 2024, this commitment is more critical than ever, considering the escalating impact of climate change on retail operations.

Retail facing the repercussions of climate change

The retail industry faces challenges such as changing weather patterns, adjustments to sourcing arrangements, and disruptions to supply chains. These challenges not only impact the operational aspects of retail buildings, logistics, and infrastructure but also influence consumer spending patterns. As expectations shift, companies not addressing climate change risk reputational damage.

Despite these challenges, UK retailers are actively working towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Under the ‘Better Retail Better World’ initiative led by the British Retail Consortium (BRC), major retailers have already exceeded emission reduction goals set for 2020, cutting emissions by 36% since 2005. Many leading retailers have also aligned their business goals with the Science Based Targets initiative, consistent with the Paris Agreement.

Make a sustainable swap with Centriforce

At the forefront of supermarket sustainability is a concerted effort to buy products manufactured in an environmentally sound way at any available opportunity of retail. We have seen such efforts made in customer facing aspects of retail, such as the degradable carrier bags being launched in September of 2002 and the charge on plastic shopping bags in the UK being introduced in 2015. 

Tesco has been introducing both customer facing and behind the scenes environmental initiatives to get the food in our shopping basket in the greenest, quickest way possible. Tesco sources up to 796,000 tonnes of fresh produce from local farmers each year to help reduce increased emissions from sourcing internationally. Tesco is also the first UK retailer to turn to rail service using temperature controlled containers to transport food from across the seas. Tesco’s rail service from Spain has meant that they have been able to reduce emissions by around 76% compared to lorries, this works out to 4,500 tonnes of co2. 

At Centriforce, we are dedicated to assisting businesses in reducing their carbon footprint by introducing 100% recycled plastic ground and wall protection products that are also 100% recyclable after use. Our commitment extends to supporting retailers in embracing eco-friendly practices, and we have played a crucial role in aiding Tesco, a major retail player, in their sustainability endeavours. 

‘Every little helps’, our journey with Tesco 

Tesco, a prominent player in the UK supermarket landscape, has embraced the challenge of reducing its environmental impact, as is evident in its core purpose. Through collaboration with Centriforce, Tesco has taken significant strides towards a more sustainable future. 

The partnership between Centriforce and the retail giant began when Tesco required a robust solution for damage prevention to shield walls from heavy cages palletised stock when the previous solution failed to perform. The previous solution, laminated MDF, absorbed moisture and experienced delamination issues when washed. Tesco trialled Stokbord Sheet, attracted by its exceptional affordability and durability. The trial’s success led to the implementation of Stokbord in 125 stored by the retailer and its approved contractors. 

Learn more about our collaboration, here.

Centriforce possesses the capability to support supermarkets in implementing a closed-loop initiative. The waste generated can be transformed into plastic pellets through Centriforce’s collaborative efforts with supplier partners. These pellets would then be utilised in the production of damage-prevention products, establishing a circular economy that reduces waste and prolongs the life cycles of materials.

By manufacturing 100% recyclable products, Centriforce demonstrates its dedication to sustainable practices but helps other businesses to achieve sustainability initiatives in a cost effective manner. The use of recycled plastic sheets in various Tesco operations showcases a forward-thinking approach, aligning with the retailer’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint and also the trustworthiness of Centriforce products. 

As customers become increasingly aware of the environmental impact of their purchasing decisions, supermarkets like Tesco, with the support of companies like Centriforce, cannot only earn respect and loyalty but also play a vital role in preserving the planet’s resources. This collaborative effort serves as a beacon for the retail and e-commerce industries, illustrating how sustainable initiatives can be both environmentally responsible and economically viable.

The journey toward sustainability in the UK supermarket sector is well underway, with retailers recognising the importance of adopting eco-friendly practices. The collaboration between Tesco and Centriforce exemplifies how manufacturers and retailers can work hand in hand to create positive change, leading the way toward a more sustainable and environmentally conscious future.

If you are interested in incorporating sustainability into your business, contact a member of our team today.