Retailers across Europe, including four major names in the UK market, have today signed up to a Retailers’ Environmental Action Plan (REAP), committing themselves to more than 100 new actions to transform the sector.
The plan, which will impact on retailers’ partnerships with suppliers, includes steps on sustainable sourcing, increased energy efficiency and food waste. It is described by the signatories as an initiative which will lead to “concrete, clear and measurable” actions, all of which will be monitored and transparently reported during the next three years.
“Retailers in Europe are in an exceptional position to promote more sustainable consumption not only via their daily contact with millions of European consumers, but also through their own actions and their partnerships with suppliers,” said the European Commission.
The new REAP pledge was unveiled today during a Green Week conference in Brussels, where it was described as a “contribution” to the implementation of a more Circular Economy, as envisaged by the European commissioner for the environment, Karmenu Vella.
The UK food retailers on the REAP list are Tesco, M&S, Lidl and The Cooperative, joining 17 other EU-based retail groups. Key areas of commitment include:
- Sustainable sourcing.
- Product design, labelling and certification.
- Greener operations and distribution.
- Consumer and employee information.
- Food waste prevention.
- Reuse and recycling.