Source: Email poll of wholesalers Wholesalers are as concerned about their environmental impact as the multiples and major suppliers. But until now they have been less willing to shout about their achievements. All the wholesalers who replied to our survey agreed they had a duty to reduce their environmental impact. They had also already taken steps to introduce environmentally friendly initiatives into their businesses and were all planning further developments over the next 12 months. Earlier this year Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda and M&S all grabbed the headlines with major sustainability projects. And in June a number of the country's biggest suppliers including Cadbury Schweppes, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola Enterprises and ABF launched major green initiatives. Now it seems wholesalers are also doing their bit to tackle this crucial issue. Brakes' commitment to tackling the green issues was the deciding factor in its The Grocer Gold award for best wholesaler this year. Last week its main rival 3663 First for Foodservice launched a major new plan called 3663 First for Sustainability. Chief executive Fred Barnes says that from now on every business decision made by the company, from choosing suppliers to picking the floor tiles for its head office, will be considered in terms of its environmental impact. "We believe every reasonable organisation should make it their duty to take as much care with the planet as they do with the running of the business," says one leading cash and carry operator. "We keep the subject under constant review and hope to continue to improve all the environmental aspects of our business where possible." The one issue that split wholesalers was whether or not there should be a co-ordinated industry-wide approach. Half of those responding said a joint initiative would be welcome while the remainder felt this was an area that companies had to take individual responsibility for. "One hopes that most companies are responsible and have the intelligence themselves to ensure things do change for the better," says one cash and carry wholesaler. "An industry-wide initiative is welcome in packaging because it is an issue that affects all of us, regardless of the ownership of the business." The range of projects by leading wholesalers include ethanol fuel trials, recycling centres, the re-use of waste materials and energy-saving projects.