Leading UK retailers and suppliers have developed a radical new approach to tackling the environmental impact of their products.

More than 80 companies have formed the Product sustainability Forum, which will take a holistic approach across the entire lifecycle of products, rather than focusing on issues such as Co2 emissions, packaging waste or water usage in isolation.

The forum will operate under government waste reduction body Wrap, which claims everyday products are responsible for about 30% of global emissions.

It will measure impact across a range of sustainability targets - carbon, water, use of raw materials, energy and waste - and identify ways to make them more environmentally friendly, with Wrap due to publish a report in the autumn.

“This will help businesses find the best ways to manufacture, transport, store, display and dispose of a wide range of products so they have the smallest possible impact on the planet,” said BRC head of environment Bob Gordon.