2030 Manufacture screengrab

The Co-op and Mars Inc have become the first major food and drink companies to join a new online platform claiming to offer groundbreaking co-operation on sustainability.

The Manufacture 2030 platform, which is also being backed by launch partners including Wrap and the Carbon Trust, will try to find ways to slash costs in the supply chains of companies and minimise their environmental impact.

Launched by 2degrees, which has previously set up sustainability programmes including Asda’s Sustain and Save Exchange, the new platform claims it will help retailers and suppliers work together to cut costs “beyond just squeezing suppliers”.

The platform includes online hubs allowing members and their suppliers to share access on information about energy, waste and water usage.

It will also allow members to use online tools to improve their performance on key areas in the supply chain, with Manufacture 2030 planning in the future to release information comparing the performance of the companies in slashing costs and becoming more efficient.

The platform claims to be the first full-scale collaboration of its kind between retailers and suppliers. It will be open to all sizes of businesses.

Martín Chilcott, founder and CEO of 2degrees, said the platform was a “radical departure” from what had gone before on tackling sustainability.

“It seems we’ve come to a point where companies realise that if they are to achieve these savings in efficiencies they need to collaborate. This is the first multi-supply chain platform of this kind to try to do that.”

Chilcott said that while allowing comparisons and sharing of knowledge, the platform would still protect competitive information on behalf of suppliers and retailers.

Co-op food sustainability manager Sarah Wakefield added: “Over the next few years, Co-op have ambitious plans to reduce the environmental impact of our products and actively support our suppliers to make sure our supply base is resilient to a changing climate.

“We are excited to be the founding retail partner of Manufacture 2030, which will enable our suppliers to share best practice and limit the time spent on reporting with the ultimate aim of reducing environmental impact. We firmly believe that working together with other major businesses and building trust among our suppliers are key in achieving our goals.”