Central England Co-operative has become the fourth organisation in the world – and the first in the retail sector – to achieve all four Carbon Trust Standards.
The Carbon Trust Standard is among the world’s leading independent certifications of an organisation’s environmental sustainability, verifying progress on carbon emissions, waste, water use and supply-chain carbon emissions.
Central England received its first certification in 2011 for reducing its own carbon emissions. After working with the Carbon Trust over the past four years, it was awarded the standard for supply chain this September. In December, the society achieved certification for its achievements on water use and waste output.
“Corporate responsibility is at the heart of how our organisation operates and we invest a large amount of time and resources,” said chief executive Martyn Cheatle. “Reducing our negative and increasing our positive impact on the environment is one of four key areas of focus for the society so we are absolutely thrilled to be leading businesses in achieving all four Carbon Trust Standards.”
The standards are managed by the Carbon Trust, set up by the government in 2001 to accelerate the move to a sustainable, low-carbon economy. They are awarded in recognition of best-practice and real achievement in reducing environmental impact and improving resource management.
“Gaining just one of the Carbon Trust Standards is a real accolade, but to get all four really shows our commitment,” said Paul Garton, energy efficiency programme manager at Central England, who is responsible for driving forward its sustainability initiatives.
“We’ve had to embrace new technology and think creatively to keep on improving. It has led to some interesting sustainability initiatives, working with local suppliers to deliver efficiency improvements through LED lighting, doors to refrigeration cabinets, automated controls, water management and colleague engagement.
“Over the past two years we have invested £21m on developing our portfolio to standardise specifications, improve efficiency and minimise waste.”
Darran Messem, managing director of certification at the Carbon Trust, added: “We would like to congratulate Central England for becoming the first retailer to achieve certification to all four elements of the Carbon Trust Standard, taking responsibility not just for the society’s own sustainability but also working with its suppliers to help them reduce carbon emissions.
“The team have demonstrated impressive commitment to continuously improving the environmental performance of the business, which sets an example to others in the sector, helping to raise our collective ambition to take action on climate change and the other pressing sustainability challenges of the 21st century.”