Sainsbury’s has been voted the UK’s greenest supermarket chain by a team of independent environmental analysts assembled by The Grocer.

Scoring the six leading supermarkets on their performancein 10 key environmental areas, as part of our ‘Green Issue’, Sainsbury’s came top or joint first in six of the categories, impressing the panel of experts with its commitment to sustainability, its store development plans and the way it sources its goods.

The Co-op, which announced plans earlier this year to build a 28MW, 14-turbine wind farm on land in Goole and add a seven-turbine extension to its existing Coldham wind farm, was second, with all-rounder Morrisons in third place.

The judges weighted scores using a methodology developed by environmental and retail consultancy Eco3, according to their environmental impact. The most important criteria were the buildings and the in-store operations.

But although Tesco’s prolific development of new eco-stores saw it win in the buildings category, and its future plans were also acknowledged by the judges, like Asda it may have been let down by a paucity of information in certain categories.

“Sainsbury’s was much more detailed in terms of its action plans than any of the others and that to me demonstrates the fact it has a rigorous and methodical approach to environmental management and environmental improvement,” said Mark Shaylar, MD of Eco3. “It shows they are taking it incredibly seriously. It is not a whim [for any of the multiples], but Sainsbury’s have taken it seriously for longer and that shows in their action planning.”

Another judge, consultant Maria Ana Botelho Neves, was impressed by the Sainsbury’s policy on waste: “It is a deserved winner because of the way it has approached the issue of waste, and waste from packaging in particular.”