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Asda Extends Save and Invest Scheme



Supermarket chain Asda has said it will continue its Sustain & Save Exchange scheme. Three hundred businesses have already benefitted from the scheme, saving and investing £21 million in three years, and Asda wants to continue that trend by helping food and drink suppliers save and invest £50 million across their supply chains in the next four years.

Asda launched the Sustain & Save Exchange in 2012, as it wanted to build a world-class supplier base which sets the bar for sustainability. The programme provides suppliers with a free online tool which gives them access to information and inspiring ideas, and allows them to share best practice to increase their business’ resource efficiency. Suppliers are also invited to join a range of workshops and site visits to evaluate technologies and approaches used by all types of food operations.

To date, more than 1,200 members from 350 of Asda’s fresh, chilled and frozen suppliers, have improved operational efficiency using the Sustain & Save Exchange, collectively saving and investing more than £21 million. The success of the programme has prompted Asda to open up the initiative to all of its food and drink suppliers.

But it isn’t just about cost saving – suppliers have also reduced their environmental impact. More than 35,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions have been removed from the supply chain to date – equivalent to the CO2 emissions of around 8,000 households. Meanwhile, over half (51 per cent) of the forum’s members have made savings on energy, while one in ten (11 per cent) have cut back on waste.

What makes the Sustain & Save Exchange unique is its golden rule – any savings made by suppliers, as a result of the Sustain & Save Exchange, are theirs to keep and to reinvest as they wish. Figures suggest that £9.6m has been ploughed back into supply chains so far.

Andrew Moore, Chief Merchandising Officer at Asda, said: “The Sustain & Save Exchange is an important Asda programme and the success of the Sustain & Save Exchange has been far beyond our expectations with our suppliers already making some impressive savings and improvements to their businesses.

“We have created a valuable and credible resource for our suppliers and it’s testament to how far we’ve come that we’ve already seen an incredible amount of interest in the expansion, with 95 new companies signing up ahead of the official launch.”

Chris Brown, Senior Director Sustainable Business at Asda, added: “The aim of the Asda Sustain & Save Exchange programme is all about collaboration with our suppliers to create a world class supply base – learning from each other to increase efficiencies and building resilience to the growing challenges of resource scarcity. What is most important to us is ensuring that our suppliers benefit from the savings so they can continue along the journey.”

Since 2012, the Sustain & Save Exchange has seen businesses from as far north as the Scottish Highlands to as far south as the Isle of Wight, share experiences and information representing over £143million of savings and investments in resource efficiency projects with one another.

Rick Lloyd, Chief Engineer of Stateside Food, a member of the Sustain & Save Exchange, said: “Sustainability is a continual process that needs to be kept visible at the forefront of any business so it’s essential that we’re up to date with the latest technology and keeping our projects moving forward. Even the simplest changes can make the biggest difference.

“Keeping in touch with like-minded people is also key – it’s great to know that I can contact my opposite in bigger companies to ask a question and they’ll answer it, and vice versa. The inter-company siloing is gone and this alone has made the SSE an invaluable tool for us.”

Food and drink suppliers can register to join the Sustain & Sustain Exchange programme, which is hosted by 2degrees, here.


These 5 Green Office Mistakes Are Costing You Money




eco-friendly green offices
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Stokkete |

The sudden interest in green business is very encouraging. According to recent reports, 42% of all companies have rated sustainability as an important element of their business. Unfortunately, the focus on sustainability will only last if companies can find ways to use it to boost their ROI.

Many businesses get so caught up in being socially conscious that they hope the financial aspect of it takes care of itself. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to go green and boost your net income at the same time.

Here are some important mistakes that you will want to avoid.

Only implementing sustainability on micro-scale

The biggest reason that brands are going green is to improve their optics with their customers. Too many businesses are making very minor changes, such as processing paperwork online and calling themselves green.

Customers have become wary of these types of companies. If you want to earn their business, you are going to need to go all the way. Bring in a green business consultant and make every feasible change to demonstrate that you are a green organization from top to bottom.

Not prioritizing investments by long-term ROI

It isn’t realistic to build an entirely green organization overnight. You will need to allocate your capital wisely.

Before investing in any green assets or services, you should always conduct a long-term cost benefit analysis. The initial investment for some green services may be over $20,000. If they don’t shave your cost by at least $3,000 a year, they probably aren’t worth the investment.

Determine which green investments will have the best pay off over the next 10 years. Make these investments before anything else. Then compare your options within each of those categories.

Implementing green changes without a plan

Effective, long-term planning is the key to business success. This principle needs to be applied to green organizations as well.

Before implementing a green strategy, you must answer the following questions:

  • How will I communicate my green business philosophy to my customers?
  • How will running a green business affect my revenue stream?
  • How will adopting green business strategies change my monthly expenses? Will they increase or decrease them?
  • How will my company finance green upgrades and other investments?

The biggest mistake that too many green businesses make is being overly optimistic with these forecasts. Take the time to collect objective data and make your decisions accordingly. This will help you run a much more profitable green business.

Not considering the benefits of green printing

Too many companies believe that going paperless is the only way to run a green organization. Unfortunately, going 100% paperless it’s not feasible for most companies.

Rather than aim for an unrealistic goal, consider the option of using a more environmentally friendly printer. It won’t be perfect, but it will be better than the alternative.

According to experts from Doranix, environmental printers have several benefits:

  • They can process paper that has been completely recycled.
  • They consume less energy than traditional printers.
  • They use ink that is more environmentally friendly.

You want to take a look at different green printers and compare them. You’ll find that some will meet your needs as a green business.

Poorly communicating your green business strategy to customers

Brand positioning doesn’t happen on its own. If you want to run a successful green business, you must communicate your message to customers as clearly as possible. You must also avoid the appearance that you are patronizing them.

The best approach is to be clear when you were first making the change. I’ll make an announcement about your company‘s commitment to sustainability.

You also want to reinforce this message overtime by using green labels on all of your products. You don’t have to be blatant with your messaging at this stage. Simply provide a small, daily reminder on your products and invoices.

Finally, it is a good idea to participate in green business seminars and other events. If your community has a local Green Chamber of Commerce, you should consider joining as well.

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Responsible Energy Investments Could Solve Retirement Funding Crisis




Energy Investments
Shutterstock / By Sergey Nivens |

Retiring baby-boomers are facing a retirement cliff, at the same time as mother nature unleashes her fury with devastating storms tied to the impact of global warming. There could be a unique solution to the challenges associated with climate change – investments in clean energy from retirement funds.

Financial savings play a very important role in everyone’s life and one must start planning for it as soon as possible. It’s shocking how quickly seniors can burn through their nest egg – leaving many wondering, “How long your retirement savings will last?

Let’s take a closer look at how seniors can take baby steps on the path to retiring with dignity, while helping to clean up our environment.

Tip #1: Focus & Determination

Like in other work, it is very important to focus and be determined. If retirement is around the corner, then make sure to start putting some money away for retirement. No one can ever achieve anything without dedication and focus – whether it’s saving the planet, or saving for retirement.

Tip #2: Minimize Spending

One of the most important things that you need to do is to minimize your expenditures. Reducing consumption is good for the planet too!

Tip #3: Visualize Your Goal

You can achieve more if you have a clearly defined goal in life. This about how your money can be used to better the planet – imagine cleaner air, water and a healthier environment to leave to your grandchildren.

Investing in Clean Energy

One of the hottest and most popular industries for investment today is the energy market – the trading of energy commodities. Clean energy commodities are traded alongside dirty energy supplies. You might be surprised to learn that clean energy is becoming much more competitive.

With green biz becoming more popular, it is quickly becoming a powerful tool for diversified retirement investing.

The Future of Green Biz

As far as the future is concerned, energy businesses are going to continue getting bigger and better. There are many leading energy companies in the market that already have very high stock prices, yet people are continuing to investing in them.

Green initiatives are impacting every industry. Go Green campaigns are a PR staple of every modern brand. For the energy-sector in the US, solar energy investments are considered to be the most accessible form of clean energy investment. Though investing in any energy business comes with some risks, the demand for energy isn’t going anywhere.

In conclusion, if you want to start saving for your retirement, then clean energy stocks and commodity trading are some of the best options for wallets and the planet. Investing in clean energy products, like solar power, is a more long-term investment. It’s quite stable and comes with a significant profit margin. And it’s amazing for the planet!

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