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The Co-op Slashes GHG Emissions, Water Use

U.K. grocery chain the Co-operative’s ethical plan, which was launched last year, has helped reduce its operational greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent and its water consumption by 20 percent over the last 12 months.

Results also show that the chain has lent £700 million ($1.1 billion) to green energy projects over the last year and that pressure groups have ranked the Co-operative as leader in areas such as pesticides, palm oil, sustainable fish and forest stewardship, the company says.

The chain – the U.K.’s largest mutual – is committed to reducing its operational greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2020, and water consumption by 30 percent by 2014, against a 2010 baseline.

In other grocery retailer news, rival supermarket chain Sainsbury’s has cut its carbon footprint by 250,000 metric tons since a project to convert its fridges to CO2 refrigeration began two years ago.

In 2009, the supermarket announced its plan to switch to CO2 refrigeration, which it said could reduce its carbon footprint by a third. It also committed to converting the first 135 stores to CO2 by 2014. However, due to the success of the installation program, the target for 2014 has been increased to 250, the company says.

The 100th store to be equipped with the technology opens this week in Ely, Cambridgeshire, U.K.

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