The Co-op's sustainability Code of Conduct with the EU

By Helen Adams
Co-op signs up to EU Code of Conduct to improve food sustainability

The Central England Co-op has signed the European Union’s new Code of Conduct on Responsible Business and Marketing Practices, in an effort to work closely with partners to help improve food sustainability.

The Society, which has over 400 food stores and funeral homes across 16 counties, outlined a series of targets as part of the announcement as part of ongoing efforts to showcase its commitment, which includes a 90% carbon footprint reduction by 2030.

 

The Co-op’s established dedication to the environment

Central England Co-op’s environmental commitment is already evident in some of the major milestones it has achieved in recent years:

  • Reducing natural gas usage by 58% since 2010
  • New stores use as little as 50% less electricity
  • Reducing food waste by 40% during the past three years from 2,445 tonnes in 2017 to 1,085 tonnes in 2020

 

This comes on the back of Central England Co-op being named Leading Co-op of the Year by Co-operatives UK in part for its long-term environmental credentials.

 

Environmental and social priorities at the Co-op

The team at Co-op are embracing these new guidelines. 

“We believe that the transformation of our food system is an ambition requiring the participation of all stakeholders throughout the value chain and their close co-operation”, said Luke Olly, Energy and Environment Lead. “This is why we shall engage in close coordination with our EU-level association Euro Coop for the effective promotion of high sustainability practices. We look forward to working closely with our EU partners to deliver this ambitious path to sustainable food systems.”

“Euro Co-op and our members fully endorse the Code’s aspirational objectives and today we step up to show leadership”, said Todor Ivanov, Euro Co-op Secretary-General. “Consumer co-operatives are sustainability frontrunners by way of innovation, investment and partnerships. Being member-owned means care for the community is at the heart of our strategy, which guarantees a holistic approach to sustainability by which environmental and social priorities are embedded into our operations. We are believers of co-operation and we stand ready to engage all stakeholders along the value chain in embracing higher sustainability performance. Policymakers’ role is crucial for providing an enabling environment so businesses could flourish and maximise their potential in attaining the EU Green Deal and Farm to Fork Strategy objectives.”

 

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