Co-op reveals 380,000 items of single-use plastic removed last year ahead of World Environment Day

Central England Co-op has revealed details of how its efforts to reduce its environmental impact have benefited local communities.

In the lead up to World Environment Day (Friday 5 June), the retailer, which operates hundreds of food stores and funeral homes across the country, has taken a closer look at how being a responsible, environmentally-friendly business has made a major difference to its Members and customers.

Milestones for the business include removing 380,000 items of single-use plastic, re-distributing enough food via a pioneering and award-winning scheme with FareShare Midlands to create over one million meals for people in need, reducing food waste by 25% since 2017 and its carbon footprint by 72% since 2010.

The achievements were acknowledged by being handed the Carbon Trust Triple Standard for carbon, water and waste for the third time.

For the third year it has completed a detailed sustainability report for each of its 262 food stores and petrol stations and 132 funeral homes to showcase to colleagues the direct impact they have had in the Society’s success in terms of reducing use of energy, water and waste.

Luke Olly, Central England Co-op’s energy and environmentlead, said: “As a responsible business, we are committed to minimising our impact on the environment

“We are delighted to mark World Environment Day by sharing with our customers and colleagues what we have achieved to reduce our impact on the environment.

“This year we also are encouraging all colleagues to celebrate biodiversity by sharing stories of their projects and activities such as nature walks, creating a wildflower patch, creating a bug hotel or pond dipping to inspire others to get involved and make a difference.”

Central England Co-operative also continues to support The Courtauld Commitment 2025 as a signatory, an ambitious voluntary agreement bringing together organisations across the food system to help cut the carbon, water and waste associated with food & drink by at least one-fifth in 10 years.

World Environment Day encourages worldwide awareness and action to protect the environment and to mark the day the Society has highlighted a number of significant achievements in supporting the environment.