Supermarkets react angrily to green credentials report

Sustainable retail business survey ‘misleading’, say Asda, Tesco and The Co-op.

Asda and Tesco have slammed a “poor quality, misleading and inconsistent” consumer report for oversimplifying what it means to be a sustainable retail business.

The “Green to the Core” report from government-funded watchdog Consumer Focus named Asda as the least green supermarket and claimed that Tesco has made no progress since the last report in 2007.

But the supermarkets say the report ignores the wider issues of sustainability such as carbon reduction and zero waste to landfill initiatives and eco-store design.

Tesco says: “It isn’t worthy of a taxpayer-funded body like Consumer Focus. Its criteria are so narrowly focused it ignores many really important innovations.”

In a lengthy blog post, Asda says the “facile and simplistic” report “isn’t worth the recycled paper it’s written on” and rebuffs the claims it makes about its green credentials.

The supermarkets were judged on climate change, waste, recycling, sustainable fishing and farming and awarded A, B, C, D, or E ratings.
Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury’s received the top grade, but The Co-op – which is regarded as an ethical retail business – Morrisons andTesco were only given a C rating.

The Co-op says it is “disappointed” that its ethical, responsible sourcing and energy and packaging reduction policies are not reflected in the report.

Asda, Aldi and Lidl were awarded D grades, while Waitrose maintained a B grade.

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