Morrisons finally got its ecological act together this week and outlined its environmental commitments in its first-ever corporate responsibility report.
Until now, it had been letting rivals Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's and Marks & Spencer grab all the green headlines. But that's about to change.
In its Taking Good Care report, the group said it would cut own-label packaging by 15% by 2010, reduce volume of waste to landfill by 50% by 2010, label air-freighted produce, extend compostable packaging to 200 lines by the end of 2007 and introduce recycling symbols on packaging.
"In acknowledging our wider social and environmental responsibilities, our goal is to be recognised for building a sustainable business based on trust, loyalty and shared-value attributes," said chief executive Marc Bolland.
Morrisons said it would consider introducing carbon labelling and had been working with the Carbon Trust to establish its carbon footprint. It planned to cut its 1.4 million tonnes of carbon emissions, based on 2005 figures, by 36% by 2010, by monitoring energy consumption, introducing energy-saving technologies and sourcing and generating renewable energy.
Over the past year it had already cut energy use by 9% and had trained 100,000 staff on common sense initiatives in its Switching On to Switching Off campaign.
Other initiatives outlined include introducing GDA labelling on all own-label food by March 2008, and by increasing the Eat Smart range by 70%, introducing more than 400 new organic lines to boost the range by 40%, and establishing a new own-label Free From range for consumers with allergies by the end of the year.
The updated offer will go hand-in-hand with the rebranding of the chain. Bolland unveiled a symbolic green and yellow logo this week to replace the black and yellow livery.an eco frenzy
If Morrisons thought it would have the green limelight all to itself this week it would have been disappointed.
There was a glut of green activity from its rivals, with Tesco.com claiming to be the first company to run a fleet of battery-powered zero-emission delivery vans.
said it would convert a fifth of its online delivery fleet to green electric vehicles, which will be done by September.
Asda pipped Sainsbury's to the post with the first plastic bag-free checkout, launched at its Isle of Dogs store on Monday. A 10-week scheme rewards shoppers who do not take a plastic bag with 'Green Goodies for Schools' vouchers.
Sainsbury's checkouts were plastic bag-free yesterday, as part of the supermarket's new monthly Make the Difference days.
Meanwhile, Tesco and seven other businesses joined the government's We're in this Together scheme, which encourages people to reduce their carbon footprint.