Mike Coupe

Sainsbury’s group commercial director Mike Coupe

It’s been nearly three years since Sainsbury’s revealed its 20x20 vision document, setting out its plans to tackle key global issues including its environmental impact.

While the initiative still has seven years left to run, in the last 12 months the retailer has been turning a lot of its ambitious targets into reality.

Unsurprisingly, food waste formed a key part of Sainsbury’s entry, with 2012 seeing it achieve its goal of sending zero food waste to landfill.

The supermarket boasts that it’s now the UK’s largest retail user of anaerobic digestion technology, creating enough energy to power 2,500 homes. In a further initiative targeted at reducing food waste Sainsbury’s launched a campaign to encourage consumers to make more use of leftovers from family meals. And in a response to one of the worst growing seasons farmers have had for years, the retailer allowed so-called ‘ugly fruit’, which would previously have been discarded, to be sold.

The judges were also impressed by Sainsbury’s water reduction target. “It demonstrates that a 50% reduction is possible, which is seriously impressive,” they said.

The were equally impressed by the reduction in packaging on Sainsbury’s own label products and the “major inroads” it had made on palm oil. Sainsbury’s was the first British supermarket to stock a line using palm oil from certified sources in the form of Basics fish fingers - and the retailer boasts that 50 own-label products are now made with certified palm oil.


The Grocer Gold Awards 2013 - Grocer of the Year