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Businesses should adopt Green Code of Conduct

Posted on: 2011-07-17 09:10:37

 

Major EU retailers, including Carrefour and Tesco, have signed up to a voluntary code of conduct seeking to reduce their environmental footprint on issues ranging from energy use to sustainable sourcing.

Published 25 June 2010 - Updated 11 July 2011

With the 'code for environmentally sustainable business', the signatories committed to a set of principles and measures aimed at reducing their environmental footprint in six areas.  These include more sustainable sourcing of specific products, such as timber or fish, improving resource efficiency in stores and "optimising" transport and distribution. Others focus on better waste management practices and improving communication to consumers.

Forum members include international retailers like Carrefour, C&A, Delhaize, Ikea, Marks and Spencer and Tesco, as well as federations like EuroCommerce and the European Retail Round Table (ERRT).

ERRT President Sir Terry Leahy stressed that "any company, no matter how much it has done so far, can sign up and show it is committed to action".

Addressing the forum, Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik said retailers were in a key position to promote more sustainable consumption on several fronts - through their own actions, their partnerships with suppliers and their daily contact with consumers.

Retailers are bridges between consumers and producers and they influence purchasing decisions, he added, calling on business leaders to give "greener marketing" a try.

Potočnik said resource efficiency was not only about energy efficiency but also covered metals, minerals and food as well as clean air, water and bio-diversity – some of which have always been free but are now "priceless".

Resource efficiency is one of the flagship initiatives of the EU's new strategy for sustainable growth and jobs, called 'Europe 2020'. One of its stated objectives is to "decouple economic growth from the use of resources".

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