The Co-op Group is to work with rival grocer Asda on a project to align the sustainability data they request from their suppliers.
It is hoped the collaboration, which will see the retailers work with sustainable business platform 2degrees, will save time and make the supply chain more efficient.
It means suppliers will only have to submit data on waste, water and energy once, which will be aggregated and passed on to both the Group and Asda.
By eliminating the need for duplicated information, it is hoped suppliers will be able to spend more time focusing on the delivery of products.
Sarah Wakefield, the food sustainability manager at the Group, said: “The Co-op is committed to a better way of doing business and we believe that collaborating on data collections means our suppliers can focus on what matters most – making great quality products with the lowest environmental impact possible.
“We are also heavily focused on building long-term relationships with our suppliers and this forms part of a better and more collaborative way of us working together.”
David McDiarmid, corporate relations director at Princes, which supplies both businesses, said: “It’s great that two retailers like the Co-op and Asda have embraced this approach. With all our manufacturing locations sharing their data between these customers we have cut down duplicated effort, saving time and making the entire process a lot more efficient. I hope other retailers will see the benefits of such a collaborative approach and consider it for their suppliers’ environmental reporting.”
Laura Bobbs, the sustainability manager at Asda, said: “So far Asda has seen fantastic results from working with 2degrees on the Sustain & Save Exchange (SSE) platform. Allowing our suppliers to remove duplicated effort has engaged our supply chain giving them the opportunity to drive efficiencies.
“We have worked with 2degrees and the supplier advisory board to make the request as simple as possible for suppliers. We appreciate that smaller businesses may not have the resources, so providing this reporting function and enabling them to share data will save them time and put their efforts into other critical areas.”