European retail steps up the fight against waste in drive to green the economy

Date

09 Oct 2012

Sections

Sustainable Dev.

Press release

Despite the economic woes, the European retail industry remains committed to achieving more sustainable production and consumption. Grocery stores are going to assist customers in cutting back on food waste. Non-food retailers will focus on making the waste stream of textiles and electronics more sustainable.

 

These new initiatives of 17 retail companies and two retail associations¹ are presented today to the European Commissioner for the environment, Janez Potočnik who will welcome them as a real contribution to the greening of the economy.

 

Although retail contributes very little to waste directly, the sector recognises that it is a major environmental problem. In response to this, retailers are committed to organising two awareness-raising campaigns on waste reduction on a global and/or national level by June 2014.

 

Dame Lucy Neville-Rolfe, President of EuroCommerce said: “This commitment shows that retailers are encouraging customers to adopt more sustainable lifestyles. With incomes under pressure, our challenge is to make the green choice an easy one for consumers and to support them in reducing waste.”

 

Dick Boer, President of the European Retail Round Table, said: “We are on the right track in making the economy greener, but it is important to keep up the momentum. As some of the largest retail companies in Europe, we are determined to push forward in encouraging our customers to live more sustainably, in collaborating with our suppliers to make production more responsible, and in further reducing the environmental footprint of our own businesses.’’

 

Today’s Retail Forum annual event (REAP) includes a number of lively panel discussions with cooperation of European Commissioner for the environment, Janez Potočnik, and an exhibition hosted by REAP members. At stands, participants will be able to see first-hand how the various initiatives on resource efficiency will operate in stores. EuroCommerce and ERRT will also unveil the 2012 REAP annual report, proving once again their long term commitment to sustainability.

 

[1] ASDA, AUCHAN, COLRUYT GROUP, DELHAIZE GROUP, El CORTE INGLES, EROSKI, IKEA, KAUFLAND, LIDL, MARK & SPENCER GROUP, MERCADONA, MERCATOR, METRO GROUP, REWE GROUP, ROYAL AHOLD, SONAE, TESCO, APED, EUROCOOP

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