Booker has raised its environmental game and made major progress in reducing its carbon footprint, according to group commercial director Bryan Drew.

The wholesaler had delivered an overall carbon dioxide reduction of 10% in the past year, he told delegates at the FWD conference.

Fifty per cent of Booker's own-label packaging was now recyclable and it was working on converting cooking oil into biodiesel for use in its fleet.

About 10% of the fleet was currently running on this biodiesel and Drew said it would look to roll this out further in the next year.

The wholesaler was also working on developing a carbon reduction model and talking to suppliers to help improve the group's overall sustainability agenda, he said.

The group had delivered strong growth in sales through its revamped internet site, he added.

Last year Booker had sales of £100,000 a week for the year to March 2007 compared with £2.5m a week for the latest financial year.

It was now starting to fully integrate the technology it inherited in last year's acquisition of Blueheath. This would lead to strong growth of its delivered operation, he said: "By March next year we want to integrate our central and top-up delivery."

The key to Booker's recent turnaround had been to simplify much of the business and include key suppliers in decision-making, said Drew.

All key supplier meetings were now being held at Booker branches so they could see exactly what was going on at the company, he said.