Booker Group plc is the UK's leading food wholesaler. The Group now comprises Booker Wholesale, Makro, Booker Direct, Classic Drinks, Ritter Courivaud, Chef Direct and Booker India.
Carbon Trust and Carbon Reduction Commitment
Booker Group plc was the first UK food wholesaler to achieve the Carbon Trust Standard and the first wholesaler to have achieved recertification, plus the only foodservice operator to have retained the standard. This demonstrates our long-term commitment to successfully measuring, managing and reducing our carbon footprint. We are particularly proud of our achievement in reducing our absolute footprint by 4% in the three year assessment period during a period of strong business growth. Although we have made good progress, we still have a lot of work to do and are committed to a more sustainable future for Booker and its customers. The Carbon Trust Standard certifies that an organisation has genuinely reduced their carbon footprint and is committed to making further reductions year on year.
Confirmation of our industry leading position on carbon reduction has been evidenced by our position in the 11/12 Government CRC League Table. Booker ranked 90 in the private sector ahead of any wholesaler or retailer in the industry. The scoring this year is based on emissions reduction and early action metrics.
These successes and others below, led to Booker winning the Grocer Gold "Green Wholesaler of the Year" award in 2012 and 2010 and our Customer Packaging Recycling service winning the commercial sector category at the Awards for Excellence in Recycling 2013.
Information on some of our work in this area is given below organised under the following headings:
Booker believes our responsibility to the environment extends beyond our own business and into those of our customers. We continue to innovate by offering green services that support customers in running a more sustainable business themselves by eliminating the associated cost and difficulties. In addition to our own achievements, we believe that working through our customer relationships we can deliver improvements in sustainability on a far greater scale.
Packaging recycling service: In April 2012 we launched the Booker packaging recycling service nationally. We created customer recycling centres in all Booker branches to allow customers to recycle their cardboard and shrink-wrap through their local branch, free of charge (see video). An additional 2000 tonnes of cardboard has been recycled since launching the service in 2012, saving over 1,500 tonnes CO2e. Over 7,500 customers have signed up to the service and feedback is very positive.
"The Booker recycling service has paid for my holiday this year!"
Geoffrey Oliver, Beechley Premier
"This service saves me £1400 a year"
Leigh Morris, Morris Neighbourhood Stores
"The Booker recycling service is brilliant. It saves time, money and energy and it is important to me and my customers that I run a sustainable business.
Mandeep Singh, Premier Singh’s "
Used Cooking Oil Recycling: During 2012 a new recycling service was rolled out across the country. After talking to our customers we realised the recycling service we had been offering for the last four years needed to be improved. Customers were not happy with the service levels they received from the traditional oil collectors and wanted Booker to extend their successful branch drop off service to include a collection from customer premises. Customers now have the choice of how to recycle their used cooking oil; it can be dropped off in branch when they visit giving them 10p per ltr rebate or a regular collection from their premises can be organised giving them double rebate at 20p per ltr. This equates to £4 off the price of a new tin of 20ltr cooking oil when recycling the same. 5000 customers have signed up to the service since it went national in September and over 7 million litres of waste oil have been recycled into sustainable bio fuels over the last 5 years.
"The oil collection service is reliable, saves me time and money so I’m happy"
Andy, Chez Fred
Battery Recycling: Booker provides customers with an in-branch battery recycling point and also offers a battery recycling kit to support retail customers in fulfilling their legal obligation under the battery regulations. This helps the retailer demonstrate sustainability to customers and drive footfall by offering a local service. Since the start of the service we have recycled over four tonnes of batteries.
Welsh Carrier Bags: In October 2011 the Welsh Government introduced a 5p charge on all single use carrier bags. The Booker report for the second year 7 April 2012 to 6 April 2013 is below.
Number of chargeable bags supplied: 88,693
Total amount received from the sale of chargeable bags: £4,434.65
Total amount received from the 5p charge: £4,434.65
Net proceeds of the charge: £3,695.54
(Admin and compliance costs were not deducted as they exceeded the proceeds)
The difference of £739.11 between the total amount received from the sale of bags and the net proceeds of the 5p charge is made up of the following:
Amounts above 5p that customers paid for bags: £0
Costs incurred informing the public about the charge: £0
Compliance costs: £0
The net proceeds from last year’s carrier bag charge have been converted to products and donated to nine local Trussell Trust Foodbanks in Wales.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG)
We continue to look for innovative investments in sustainable technology and methods in our estate, refit and operations, and this has also made a major contribution to our absolute reduction in carbon footprint.
We have installed voltage optimisation in over 100 Booker sites, resulting in a reduction in power consumption of over 13%. This technology will be rolled out to the remainder of the Booker estate in 2013 at a cost of over £2m, giving an anticipated saving of over 6000 tonnes CO2 annually.
New Booker branches have energy efficiency features below included in their designs:
- Maximum transparent roof area, light-sensitivity and occupancy controls; energy-efficient lighting
- High efficiency heaters, timing controls and re-circulation fans
- High thermal efficiency cold rooms wherever possible instead of less efficient refrigeration equipment (e.g. open "multi-decks")
- New cladding and roofing to improve insulation
The property team make use of the same energy saving technologies applied in the new builds for refit programmes across the estate. In the last year a dozen branches have benefited from new energy saving lighting technologies that include occupancy detectors, daylight sensors and T5 fittings.
Distribution Centres: Our two largest regional distribution centres have been converted to energy efficient lighting in ambient and chilled areas - a saving of 76% of energy consumption, or 2000 tonnes CO2.
‘Smart Grid’ Electricity Generation
Booker, with its partner PeakGen, have installed 3 ‘mini power stations’ at their distribution centres. These stations are built to balance demand and capacity for new renewable power generation (e.g. wind, solar) and during periods of stress on the national grid. This new ‘smart-grid’ technology is capable of providing power to around 16,000 local homes and businesses, preventing power outages and deferring the construction of new large-scale coal and gas-fired power stations.
Automated meter reading has been installed across the Booker estate in 2010/11, the carbon team has used the data to highlight energy efficiency improvements.
Booker as a company is not a high water user but that does not mean savings cannot be made by simple changes and water saving technology. In 2012 we instigated six water benchmarking reports and site audits to identify opportunities. We anticipate savings in the region of 10% and hope to receive the results and implement.
The efficient movement of stock is vital in delivering excellent Choice Price and Service to customers. In particular as internet sales increase we are working hard to make all deliveries more efficient and reduce our emissions from transport.
Rail: Booker continues to move goods by rail from the Midlands to Scotland and has increased this over the last year, saving a further 42,000 miles and 60 tonnes of carbon. Future plans will avoid a further 724,000 miles a year equivalent to 1,000 tones CO2.
Double Deck Trailer: Following trials to document all health & safety processes, in the last quarter if 2012 we have rolled out double deck deliveries to six Booker branches. This gives us the capacity to load 44 pallets as opposed to the standard 26. In four months we have saved 19,500 kms, removed 62 vehicle journeys from the road and saved over 17 tonnes of CO2. This will continue to expand and grow during 2013.
Branch van fleet: Delivered sales have continued to grow however, due to the change in our vehicle profile using similar vehicle types with increased vehicle capacity, we have been able to reduce the mileage overall by 27,000 miles giving a saving of 17 tonnes CO2. A 3.5t replacement programme started in 2012 and is ongoing within the business, which will further increase the vehicles' payload capacity, reducing CO2 emissions and improved MPG capability. We have also continued with the driver CPC training programme, ensuring we are on track for completion in Sept 2014, commenced driver training for our 3.5t drivers monitoring driver behaviour through practical driving and all our drivers are now registered with ROSPA.
Our current company car fleet (687 cars) has an average CO2 emission of 124g per km, down from last year despite a growth in car numbers. This is below the average of Lex Autolease's entire managed fleet (c300,000 cars) which is at 143g. The average CO2 of the cars under order is 111g indicating that our average will drop further once these vehicles are delivered. Just over 60% of our fleet currently have CO2 levels of 120g or below.
Smarter Driving: We have put 48 company car drivers and 24 van drivers through the Energy Saving Trust’s Smarter Driving course. This course helps drivers focus on techniques to reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions.
Saving Miles: Booker continue to collaborate with suppliers to find ways to reduce food miles from the total supply chain. This year we have maintained our industry leading-focus on minimising empty journeys and continue to save over 1.5 million kms (equivalent to over 1,500 Te CO2). An example of this work with Coca-Cola is available as an industry best practice case study on the IGD website.
Product Sourcing and Packaging
Booker continues to seek opportunities to make our own label products more sustainable through reducing packaging, eliminating waste and use of fair trade and farm assurance schemes. All manufacturers are required to complete a questionnaire that covers ethics and sustainability. This year key areas include:
Green Palm: Booker has been actively working with all its own label suppliers to either move to an alternative vegetable oil or to only source sustainable palm oil. This work has been very successful over a wide range of product lines particularly for snack foods and baked products. All our Happy Shopper and Chef’s Larder range of biscuits are now produced with sustainably sourced palm oil
Rain Forest Alliance: This year our Happy Shopper Tea Bags have attained the Rain Forest Alliance logo. The Rainforest Alliance seal assures consumers that the product they are purchasing has been grown and harvested using environmentally and socially responsible practices.
Fair Trade: Booker continues to expand its range of catering products that are certified Fair Trade, all Chef’s Larder tea and coffee have moved to Fair Trade, the Lichfield Fair Trade range has been extended to cover ground coffee and coffee beans and individual tea bags.
Red Tractor Farm Assured: The Red Tractor Farm Assurance scheme is used to ensure good standards of animal welfare on UK livestock farms. Booker has a number of own label products displaying the red tractor logo which has now grown to over 70 products across retail and catering ranges. We continue to work to widen the products covered by this standard.
Packaging efficiencies: We review packaging at every opportunity and this includes increasing packaging if we are seeing damages and consequently food waste from poor product protection. One example this year is on our Chef’s Larder Pate, by changing the packaging we have more than doubled the shelf life which will help to reduce waste not only in Booker but more importantly at our customers premises.
Waste & Recycling
We continue to work across the Booker estate to prevent waste, redistribute fit for purpose food, increase recycling and divert waste away from landfill. Booker uses the waste hierarchy to ensure all waste is dealt with in the most environmentally positive way. With the main focus being working at the top of the hierarchy to prevent and redistribute food waste.
As previously mentioned we have worked to support local food charities with donations of fit for purpose food that has not cleared through the reduction process rather than it go for disposal. Trials have been extended to include two distribution sites which has resulted in the equivalent of 126,000 meals being donated to support local under-privileged people and the aim is to set this up for all Booker sites.
If food is not fit for human consumption then our next option is animal feed, 5 tonnes have been donated to animal feed for the first time late in 2012 and again we hope to be able to extend this to cover more Booker sites during 2013.
During the last year we have increased the volume of waste recycled and sent to recovery processes by 3500 tonnes or 42%. Our distribution centre at Haydock has maintained zero waste to landfill since Nov 2010.
Green Champions: Each of our 6 regions has a ‘Green’ General Manager who promotes sustainability ideas and initiatives. At branch level we have identified one individual to become the ‘Green Champion’ responsible for energy saving and recycling.
Local Charities: Booker is committed to working with and assisting the communities in which we operate. We do this primarily through improving the support and service we provide to our customers. Each branch, distribution and support centre has a nominated local charity that they support.
Food Donations: During the last year we have donated surplus food to local homeless charities from the Booker branch in the area. In 2012 53 tonnes were donated to charities across the UK equivalent to 126,000 meals, plus 44 tonnes of pet food was donated to local cat and dog rescue centres. This will be widen to cover all Booker sites during 2013.
Booker also actively contributes to sustainability initiatives in the wider industry for example:
Booker led the IGD group (ECR) during 2012 which develops practical solutions to drive change in key areas such as distribution and waste. Booker also sits on the Industry Sustainability Group. The targets and achievements for this cross-industry work are summarised below:
|Product & Packaging Waste Prevention
||Voluntary industry agreement to
prevent 75,000 tonnes of food waste in 3 years
Recover or Recycle 150,000 tonnes in 3 years
|Targets exceeded a year early.|
Web based tool kit and downloadable guides produced.
Best practice shared with the industry. Visit www.igd.com/supplychainwaste for full details
||New target set to prevent 200,000 tonnes of food waste by end of 2014
|Industry Sustainability Group
||Development of industry sustainability guides
||Free Downloads: Sustainability Matrix|
Business Case for Reducing Emmissions
For 2013 Booker is leading the industry work group to increase redistribution of fit for purpose food to charity and animal feed. The aim of the group is to break down the barriers preventing more charity donation of surplus food and provide a web based tool kit to support the industry in key areas.
Booker believes that investing time and displaying leadership in these areas is critically important in moving the industry towards a more sustainable operating model throughout the chain.