They want to make a commitment to joint projects that will reap green benefits in the areas of transport, energy consumption, packaging and waste, with collaborative distribution networks and the use of environmentally friendly fuels among the possible plans.
Senior industry representatives first met in November at an IGD conference initiated by Asda boss Andy Bond in August, when he called for supermarkets and suppliers to work more closely together.
Previously, supermarkets have competed feverishly to be the greenest - in a bid to woo consumers increasingly concerned about the effect supermarkets have on the environment. "It's a competitive market, but it is possible to work together to make a positive impact on the environment," said an Asda spokesman. "There are quick ways to have a big environmental impact, which are either cost-neutral or actually save money."
At the Sustainable Food Industry Summit, break-out groups discussed sharing best practice. The transport group was headed by Asda's David Cheesewright and Nestlé UK's Chris Tyas. Unilever UK's Gavin Neath and Tesco's David North co-chaired energy management. Packaging and waste was headed by Sainsbury's Judith Batchelar and Northern Foods' Norman Pickavance.