The Co-operative Group has been named Green Retailer of the Year at the Grocer Gold Awards for the second year running.
The retailer beat off competition from a number of other businesses, including Tesco, at the event hosted by trade magazine, The Grocer, which recognises the best of the best in the retail industry.
The Green Retailer Award goes to the business that has done the most in the past year to reduce its impact on the environment and change consumer behaviour.
The Co-operative was praised for a series of initiatives during the past 12 months, which included the launch of its Ethical Plan in February 2011. It aims to ensure the Group is at the forefront on ethical and environmental issues, and includes the toughest operational carbon reduction targets of any major business, the Co-operative claims.
As part of this plan, the retailer has extended its higher-welfare Elmwood standard to Co-operative own-brand fresh pork and own-brand pork sausages. All Co-operative own-brand chicken, turkey and all its own-brand fresh pork and sausages are now Elmwood standard or above.
All Co-operative own-brand fresh and frozen pork, beef, chicken, duck and turkey is 100% British, and all Co-operative brand bacon, sausage, gammon and ham (excluding continental products) is produced using only British meat.
Other recent initiatives have included the launch of a national wildlife initiative, called Habitat Heroes, at six Co-operative-owned farms offering a lifeline to endangered and protected species.
Tim Hurrell, managing director, food retail at The Co-operative, said: “We’re delighted to win this coveted award for the second year running. It is recognition of the hard work and commitment we have given to leading the way in reducing our impact on the environment and in responsible retailing, not just in our food business but right across The Co-operative Group and the local communities we serve.”