We aim to put all waste to positive use, reducing it as much as possible as well as finding opportunities to re-use it.
Through the use of the ISO 14001 Environmental management system we’re reducing and reusing operational waste in our distribution centres and continue to try to help our customers to reduce their household food waste and recycle non-food materials.
Reducing and redesigning
In 2011/12 we have further reduced our own brand packaging by 6.4 per cent. This brings our progress to 23.4 per cent reduction versus 2005. Our 2010 Love Your Leftovers campaign engaged customers in reducing food waste through tips and recipe ideas. This year we have been working with WRAP to simplify date codes and improve freezing guidance across hundreds of products helping customers and our stores to waste less.
Reusing waste for power
We are the UK’s largest retail user of anaerobic digestion (AD), creating enough energy to power 2,500 homes. In 2012 we announced our investment in Tamar Energy, a new company which aims to build a UK network of 44 anaerobic digestion plants, capable of producing 100 MW of energy. Tamar will also help us engage our suppliers, reducing waste in our wider supply chain.
Through our partnerships with charities like FareShare and FoodCycle we donate surplus food to local community groups. We’ve been working with FareShare for 18 years and last year created the Million Meal Appeal to engage customers in donating food essentials to charities with every item matched by Sainsbury’s.
The Appeal is now the UK’s largest single charity food collection. So far over 3.2 Million Meals have been donated to FareShare over 3 days of campaigning in 2011 and 2012.
One stop recycling shop
As part of our commitment to help customers reduce their household waste and recycle more, we aim to offer a convenient, one stop recycling shop.
We have partnered with Oxfam for 16 years and from November 2011 to October 2012, we’ve collected over nine million items of clothing and almost 1.8 million books and other media items including CDs and DVDs. We were the UK’s first retailer to offer battery recycling facilities to customers’ in every store and over 21 million batteries were recycled in 2011/12, equating to 53 per cent of all the batteries we sold in that time. In September 2012 we introduce a new recycling system that aims to enhance recycling rates, offer a more aesthetically pleasing and customer friendly facility, and reduce local authority costs. It is being delivered through our partnership with Palm Recycling, Oxfam and Valpak. The new facilities comprise standardised recycling containers for mixed paper and card, mixed glass, mixed plastics, mixed cans, textiles and small waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). The containers will also carry the familiar Recycle Now logo and colour coding to help customers select the correct container. Currently the new facilities are in over 20 supermarkets in Greater London.