Midcounties Co-operative saved 1,500 tonnes of CO2 emissions in 2016

The Midcounties Co-operative has announced a that its saved a collective 1,500 tonnes of CO2 emissions in 2016 – the equivalent of taking 294 cars off the road – thanks to its sustainability initiatives.

Tash Friend, customer service assistant, and Walsall store manager, Oliver Holden, at the Walsall store

The Society, which operates more than 500 sites including Food Retail, Travel, Funeralcare, Childcare, Healthcare and an Energy business, has accomplished the feat having established a dedicated environmental steering group eight years ago to deliver green objectives.

2016 was a milestone year, with The Midcounties Co-operative saving The Society also increased its recycling levels to 91% – up from 85% in 2015, diverting over 3000 tonnes of waste from landfill.

The environmental steering group, which includes customers and staff from across The Midcounties Co-operative, develops and shapes the Society’s wider environmental strategy and sets clear sustainability targets for all its trading groups.

Through the group, the Society pledged an overall 3% reduction in its energy use by the end of last year and has a long-term target to improve energy efficiency of its business by 20% by 2026.

Mike Pickering, community and sustainability manager at The Midcounties Co-operative, said: “As a co-operative we take our environmental responsibility very seriously and 2016 marked a momentous moment for us in terms of exceeding our sustainability targets and reinforcing our ongoing commitment to recycle and reduce energy consumption.

“We’re very proud of our colleagues who put in over 400 volunteering hours last year on environment projects to help us achieve our targets.

“It’s important for all retailers and individuals to take an active role to reduce energy usage and embrace smarter recycling as our natural resources come under more and more pressure.”

The Midcounties Co-operative is the largest independent co-operative in the UK and has also been awarded by Business in the Community (BITC), 5 stars in the Corporate Responsibility Index and the Carbon Trust Standard for its pioneering environmental work.