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Asda Launches $1.3bn Sustainabilty Savings Drive

Sustainability initiatives carried out by U.K. grocery store chain Asda saved the company £70 million ($110 million) in 2010 and it has committed to new goals that it hopes will deliver a cumulative £800 million in savings by 2020.

Asda says it has eliminated 149,000 metric tons of carbon from operations since 2007 – a reduction of 11.9 per cent – meeting the the company’s target four years early.

The company’s future strategy commits it to maintaining a 10 percent absolute carbon footprint and reducing fresh food waste “from farm-to-fork” by 10 per cent by the end of 2015.

Other goals include a 10 per cent reduction in the carbon impact of packaging by 2013; sourcing 100 percent of its palm oil supply from sustainable sources by 2015 and increasing its spend on products sourced from local suppliers to £500 million by the end of 2013.

In April, Walmart – Asda’s parent company – came fourth in a ranking of the companies most committed to sustainability.

The poll of sustainability experts, carried out by consultants SustainAbility and researchers GlobeScan, saw 11 percent of respondents naming the retail giant as a large company that is “committed to sustainable development, seeing strategic advantage in pursuing policies and actions which go beyond the requirements of environmental and social legislation.”

Unilever was named by 15 percent of respondents and topped the ranking.

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