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.