In December 2019, Ethical Consumer viewed the Co-op's 'Co-op Way' report 2018.
The report discussed the company's environmental and social impact. It addressed issues including waste and green house gas emissions for its own operations, as well as the impact from raw ingredients such as such as palm oil, fish, soy. The report provided GHG emission data from refrigeration, transport, heating/generation and electricity. It also discussed water use, use of pesticides and land management in Co-op's agricultural supply chain. The company also discussed the impact of its insurance business, including screening the projects that were supported.
The company stated that it halved its direct GHG emissions between the period 2006 and 2017. It stated that it will half its GHG emissions again by 2025.
Regarding specific products the company stated that: 99.27% of Co-op seafood (wild caught and farmed) was from low or medium-risk fisheries; 100% of the wood and paper used in products for Co-op Food was of known origin – 95% from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or recycled sources; 100% of palm oil was RSPO certified.
Regarding soy, the company stated: "In 2018, we joined the UK Round Table on Soy and footprinted our entire supply chain for soy use for the first time. This revealed we use 80,000 tonnes of soy – most of which comes from animal feed. We will be reviewing our approach, with the new mapping information that we have compiled."
The company was therefore considered to demonstrate a good understanding of its environmental impacts.
The report contained at least two quantifiable targets. For example, 2019 targets included:
- Reduce food waste generated in our stores and depots by 50% by 2030 compared to 2015
- 100% of our packaging (by product line) will be easy to recycle by 2023 (80% by 2020)
- Reduce our Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by a further 50% by 2025 compared to 2016
The report had been independently verified by DNV GL Business Assurance Services UK Limited.
Co-op received Ethical Consumer's best rating for Environmental Reporting.
Co-op Way (2018)