Lidl and Waitrose have been named the UK’s most sustainable supermarkets in a new Which? ranking.
The consumer watchdog has released its Green Grocery Store Rankings, which looks at supermarket policies on food and plastic waste, as well as greenhouse gas emissions.
Following Lidl and Waitrose, who tied for first place with a score of 74 per cent, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco made it into the top five, while Morrisons, Aldi, Co-op, Ocado and Marks and Spencer rounded out the top. 10.
Iceland was placed at the bottom of the list, at number 11. The reason for this, what? she said, it was because it “couldn’t” report how much of its own-brand plastic was recyclable.
Other factors working against Iceland is that it is a specialist in frozen foods, so its in-store freezers meant it scored lower for operational greenhouse gas emissions. However, the supermarket said it buys 100 per cent renewable electricity for its UK stores.
The ranking is the first of its kind, which one? he told her, as shoppers look to make greener choices in their grocery stores.
“We know that consumers increasingly want to shop sustainably and our in-depth analysis of three key areas shows that all major supermarkets could be looking to make some improvements,” Harry Rose, editor of Which?, said in a statement.
“The good news is that shoppers can make a big difference by adopting more sustainable habits, like buying loose fruits and vegetables, buying local produce in season, eating less meat and dairy, and limiting their own food waste.”
Which? He noted that while Lidl performed highly on its greenhouse gas emissions score, its food waste score was poor. He said this is because Lidl serves more fresh food in the store than comparable stores.
Waitrose was highly rated for its strong policies on food and plastic waste and Which? it said it also scored reasonably for its greenhouse gas emissions.
M&S was second to last on the list due to its higher use of plastic compared to other supermarkets. It was also unable to provide its food waste data in a comparable format.
Co-op was ranked best for plastic use, while Ocado was named best for food waste, as it redistributes all its surplus food.
The best organic supermarkets, according to Which?
one. Lidl – 74 percent
one. Waitrose – 74 per cent
3. Asda – 71 percent
3. Sainsbury’s – 71 per cent
5. Tesco – 69 percent
6. Morrison – 68 percent
7. Aldi – 66 percent
8. Cooperative – 65 percent
9. Ocado – 63 percent
10. Marks & Spencer – 48 percent
eleven Iceland – 29 percent
Richard Walker, CEO of Iceland, said: “Iceland does not recognize the data used by Which? or accept the low sustainability rating that the magazine has given us. Far from’ work[ing] with supermarkets to acquire the most accurate and comparable data available’, as they say, Which? they have chosen to ignore repeated warnings from us and our legal advisors that their methodology was completely flawed.
“Their calculation of carbon intensity grossly misrepresents Iceland because it is based on retail spending rather than sales volumes, penalizing supermarkets that sell at low prices. It also does not take into account our use of 100 percent renewable electricity. Their calculation of plastic intensity is similarly incorrect and bears no relation to our own audited and published data on plastic use, which is used to calculate the packaging taxes we pay.”
He continued: “We have taken the global lead in committing to plastic neutrality, removing plastic packaging from our own label range and achieving net zero carbon emissions across all our operations by 2040.”
An M&S spokesman said the independent: “This research is an industry benchmark based on certain criteria and our ranking does not fairly reflect our sustainability ambitions or achievements to date. We are committed to building a sustainable future. That’s why we recently restarted Plan A, our sustainability action plan, which provides a detailed roadmap for reducing our emissions, plastic use and minimizing food waste across our business.
“In our quest to become a completely net-zero business by 2040, we have already made progress. From eliminating more than 3,000 tons of packaging since 2018 to redistributing more than 36 million meals through our long-standing partnership with Neighbourly, every day we work to rapidly reduce our footprint.”