LEADING UK supermarkets need to green up their act and do more to help shoppers make greener choices. This is the finding of the first consumer-focused environmental report, Greening supermarkets, from the National Consumer Council.
The NCC put the Co-op and seven other top eight supermarkets to the test on four key green indicators ? from seasonal food and organics to sustainable sourcing and cutting waste.
The report said: "The Co-op shows potential with seasonal vegetables, the smallest amount of ?long distance' fruit and reducing the use of pesticides. It needs to improve its range of sustainably sourced fish and extend recycled packaging."
A Co-op Group spokesman told the News: "This is a disappointing result and one that we believe doesn't reflect the reality of the situation. The Co-op achieved some good scores for seasonal vegetables, the smallest amount of ?long-distance fruit' and on reducing the use of pesticides. Our overall result, however, was let down by the report's verdict on our fresh fish offer.
"This is, perhaps, hardly surprising when, as a predominantly small store retailer, our range and, therefore, opportunity for promoting sustainable fish is naturally limited, even though we work closely with the Marine Stewardship Council and the Marine Conservation Society on sustainable fish sourcing policy.
"We were surprised by the report's narrow focus. For example, on climate change no account has been taken of supermarkets' green energy usage, an issue on which the Co-operative Group leads the way with all its stores powered by green energy. We are in the process of prioritising the next phase of our responsible retailing initiatives and we will take account of the report's findings."
? Full details in the next Co-op News, published Tuesday 19th Septmber.