"Truly ground-breaking" is how the head of the environment at the British Retail Consortium has described a new collaboration involving retailers and suppliers in a bid to cut the environmental footprint of the goods they deal with, from food to DIY products.
The Product Sustainability Forum (PSF) has been set up under the umbrella of government waste reduction body WRAP and brings together more than 80 organisations to reduce the harmful waste of everyday products. These are responsible for an estimated 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the BRC.
The new forum, unveiled today, will measure products' impact for the first time across a range of sustainability targets - carbon, water, use of raw materials, energy and waste - and identify how best to make them more environmentally friendly. According to the BRC, this co-ordinated approach will allow industry to make far more significant progress on environmental targets than can be ahieved by businesses working alone.
BRC head of environment Bob Gordon said: "Retailers have made substantial progress in reducing the environmental impact of their businesses, addressing everything from how they heat their stores to the type of packaging goods are sold in. But the biggest prize is something retailers don't have total control over - cutting the overall impact of the goods they sell.
"This new collaboration will help businesses find the best ways to manufacture, transport, store, display and dispose of a wide range of products so they have the smallest possible impact on the planet. It's truly ground-breaking."