The last year has “not always been plain sailing” on the ESG front, says Asda, which has laid out its 2023 sustainability achievements.

Presenting its 2023 Brighter Living Report– its fourth report updating on the progress made towards its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) targets in the year, the retailer said it had made “significant progress” in reducing scope 1 and scope 2 emissions.

Mohsin Issa, co-owner of the retailer, said: “2023 was a big year for Asda, with major strategic investments delivered and the foundations being laid to build a bigger and better Asda.”

But he noted caution, adding: “It’s not always plain sailing though, and there are areas in which progress has been slower or even in the wrong direction.

“We’ve reported these as normal and we remain committed to finding solutions; so, while we celebrate the achievements of 2023, we know our work is nowhere near done.”

Asda said it had cut scope 1and 2 emissions by 7% in 2022, but warned of the challenges in cutting scope 3 emissions.

It said: “A key barrier is product level emissions starting with accurate product level data.

“To address this challenge on product data, Asda has joined the BRC Mondra Coalition alongside other supermarkets and food businesses in the UK.

“The aim of the coalition is to harmonise the approach on product level sustainability data in the industry. In the first year of its inception, significant progress has been made on building consistent methodology and carbon footprinting across coalition members.”

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On the packaging front, the retailer said it had increased the proportion of own-brand packaging that can be recycled by 3% year-on-year to 96%, saying it was on its way towards the target of 100% recyclability by 2025.

It said changes to beef mince and steak trays saw reduced packaging of 120 tonnes annually, while over 1.8 million lids of its Just Essentials soft cheese now include 30% recycled content in packaging

The supermarket also highlighted that it had removed the colour milk caps on Asda branded fresh milk to improve the recyclability of 200 million pieces of plastic annually.

On food donation, it said it had donated more than 4,000 tonnes of surplus food.

Last month, Asda expanded its ‘back of store’ food donation scheme, which will see the retailer enter into a new three-way partnership with long-standing food redistribution charity FareShare and local food-sharing app Olio.

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