UK retail giants are launching new green initiatives in order to reduce waste and improve recycling to tackle climate change.
It is the first time the sector has united to draw up a comprehensive set of goals to support Government policy and, in particular, the targets contained in the Climate Change Act.
Retailers aim to divert waste from landfill so that less than 50% of waste from their operations is landfilled by 2013. They also plan to reduce their own brand packaging by 2013 on a like-for-like basis, compared with 2005, and work with their suppliers to encourage similar reductions.
The commitments will be announced by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) this evening (April 30 2008) at the BRC Annual Parliamentary Reception. BRC director Stephen Robertson will be speaking in front of Environment Secretary Hilary Benn and an audience of politicians and senior retailers at the House of Commons.
Robertson will say: By agreeing industry-wide goals for the next five years, retail is ratchetting up its environmental commitments.
We recognise we can make a real difference through our own operations and by supporting customers and staff in ways that suit budgets and lifestyles. Retailers do not lecture or legislate, preach or prosecute. We serve and lead by providing positive choices and, wherever we can, incentives to do the right thing.
The industry also hopes to increase customer recycling by providing clear labelling on recyclability and working with the Government and local authorities to ensure a more uniform provision of recycling infrastructure across the UK.
Retailers who have signed up to the commitments include:
* Early Learning Centre
* John Lewis
* Marks and Spencer
* The Body Shop
* The Co-operative
Image: BRC logo