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96% of Asda’s own-brand packaging now recyclable

By Bethan Grylls

- Last updated on GMT

Asda publishes 2023 Brighter Living Report - here's the key takeaways
Asda publishes 2023 Brighter Living Report - here's the key takeaways

Related tags ESG Supermarket

The UK supermarket’s latest Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) report highlights strides made within the areas of packaging, carbon, community and employee wellbeing.

The Asda 2023 Brighter Living Report is the retailer’s fourth update on the progress made towards its ESG targets in the last calendar year. 

Mohsin Issa, co-owner of Asda, described 2023 as a big year for the supermarket, “with major strategic investments delivered and the foundations being laid to build a bigger and better Asda”. 

Packaging

Among the milestones highlighted, Asda reports a 3% year-on-year increase in the amount of its own-brand packaging that can be recycled. Now having reached 96%, the retailer is almost at its target 100% which it intends to hit by next year.

Innovations within packaging include changes to its beef mince and steak trays, which have seen a 120-tonne reduction in packaging annually and improvements to shelf life for beef mince from 9 to 14 days.

In addition, more than 1.8m lids of Just Essentials soft cheese now include 30% recycled content in packaging, while Asda branded fresh milk has seen all its colour milk caps removed, thus improving recyclability of 200m pieces of plastic annually.

Carbon emissions

On carbon, the retailer has continued to make movements in its scope 1-3 carbon emissions, down 7% on 2022 and 15% since Asda first began reporting its full carbon footprint in 2020.

To drive further reductions, Asda’s highest carbon impact suppliers (supplying products accounting for c.80% of the retailer’s total carbon footprint) are now required to share sustainability progress through the EcoVadis data-sharing and assessment platform.

Health 

Asda has also launched its ‘Health Menu’ – a new range with more than 40 nutritionist-approved products and re-launched the ‘Live Better’ icon across a significant proportion of its portfolio.

It will also be looking to improve its average health score of its sales, based on a metric it terms as ‘sales-weighted health score’. These products are determined by the UK Government’s Nutrient Profiling Model and measured year-on-year and across both branded and own brand products. 

Community

The retailer is also celebrating its 10-year anniversary working with FareShare, having donated the equivalent of over 38m meals from surplus food from Asda stores and depots since its partnership began.

In 2023, Asda donated more than 4,000 tonnes of surplus food, and last month saw the supermarket announce a new collaboration with FareShare and Olio.

At the same time, Asda has raised over £7m for the Tickled Pink breast cancer campaign – said to be the largest amount in a single year – and £3.1m for BBC Children In Need.

Employees

For its workers, a record £150m investment has been made into its retail pay for 2024. A total of £415m has been invested in increasing pay since the change of ownership in 2020.

It has also become the first UK supermarket to work with DFN Project SEARCH, a one-year transition to work programme for young adults with a learning disability and/or autism spectrum conditions.

“Our fourth ESG report outlines the progress we’ve made in the last year, with our new strategies and targets not only matching the ambitions of the business, but also tackling the areas that matter most to our customers and stakeholders," ​added Issa.

On the future, he promised more improvements are to come: “We will continue to demonstrate our commitment to building a sustainable business for the long term.”

In other news, find out which brand was crowned most valuable global food and drink brand for 2024.

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