Benefits to change in the retail supply chain

Reducing waste and using fewer natural resources is not only a powerful way of making a contribution towards reducing climate change and delivering a sustainable future - it can also save you money.

Supporting the retail supply chain

Companies can reduce both their food and packaging waste and cut CO2 emissions by examining each stage of a product's life cycle to determine where efficiences can be made.  This covers every step along the way from design, production, processing, manufacturing, transportation, storage, refrigeration and distribution to help:

  • minimise waste to landfill;
  • use fewer raw materials;  
  • improve design;
  • use less energy; and
  • develop more efficient distribution systems.

These efficiencies can help your business to:

  • reduce costs;
  • improve your overall environmental impact; and
  • gain a competitive advantage.  

See Solutions for the Retail Supply ChainResource efficiency saving tips for the retail supply chain.

Helping the consumer

Companies can also do much to help consumers reduce waste and make savings at home: 

  1. By making efficiencies in the food supply chain - from 'field to fork' - companies can save money which can be passed on to the consumer.   
  2. Retailers, brands and manufacturers can deliver innovative solutions with their products in the retail environment to help consumers.
  3. And by informing consumers about all the good work being done, companies can build upon customer loyalty; enhance corporate and brand value; and give competitive advantage.

Packaging: consumers are more conscious about what packaging can be recycled and standardised on pack recycling labelling is helping to guide them.  Incorporate recycled content in your packaging and you are helping to support closed loop systems.  See Packaging and Recycle Now.

Food: Kerbside food waste collections are now common across the UK and the Love Food Hate Waste consumer programme is helping consumers to make the best of the food that they buy.  See Solutions around household food waste.

Meeting legislation

The European Union (EU) Landfill Directive represents a step change in the way we dispose of waste in this country and sets demanding targets to reduce the amount of biodegradable municipal waste that is landfilled.

The environmental impact of packaging in the UK comes under two sets of regulations which implement the EU Directive.  One covers industry's role in ensuring that the UK meets recovery and recycling targets, and the second requires producers to ensure that their packaging meets appropriate design standards.  Companies can be prosecuted and fined for failure to comply. 

If you are a business - visit Net Regs and The Industry Council for Packaging and the Environment (Incpen) for an overview.  Consumers can complain about packaging to their nearest council's Trading Standards section.