Asda, part of the giant Walmart group, has just launched a new initiative, the Asda Sustain and Save Exchange, using 2degrees – an online managed service designed to facilitate collaboration on sustainability.
The aim is to enable suppliers to explore more sustainable and efficient methods for energy, water and waste management; delivering efficiencies across the supply chain. 2degress says it will redefine relationships with suppliers, with the potential for shared buying, logistics and category learning.
It supports Asda’s “Sustainability 2.0” strategy in which Asda is shifting its focus to targets for its products and supply chain.
Clearly customer pressure is having an impact. Julian Walker Palin, head of corporate sustainability at Asda says: “Our customers have told us they want retailers like us to provide affordable, sustainable products as the norm, not make it a complex choice with a premium attached. By helping our suppliers to become more sustainable and efficient at the same time through the Sustain & Save Exchange we are helping to ensure everyone can afford to make sustainable choices.”
Asda is not the first to go down this route. In June last year, Tesco announced it was working with 2degrees on sustainability issues. But given the global scale of the the Walmart group, this initiative could have repercussions all around the world.
And it highlights the fact that pressure will continue to mount on suppliers to the major retailers to develop their own sustainability strategies.