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Asda to improve supply chain sustainability

Walmart-owned supermarket chain Asda is currently attempting to improve its supply chain’s efficiency and increase corporate sustainability, by launching a peer-to-peer exchange scheme.

The Asda Sustain & Save Exchange, hosted by the business community 2degrees, has reportedly been created to help the retail chain explore new ways of collaborating with its suppliers
“We have defined a holistic 360 approach to sustainability for the global Walmart family, which includes our suppliers, the communities in which we operate, our operations and our customers,” said Julian Walker-Palin, head of corporate sustainability, Asda.

He also explained that the company’s sustainability aims include being supplied by 100% renewable energy, to create zero waste, and to sell products which will sustain both people and the environment.

“In 2010 we launched the next phase of our sustainability strategy called Sustainability 2.0. The key difference between this strategy and before is that the majority of our targets are now focussed on improving the sustainability of our products and supply chain,” Walker-Palin said. “We see this as crucial to working together to continue successfully growing in a upcoming era of higher energy prices, scarcer resources, changing weather patterns and more stringent legislation.

What you may not know yet is that customers are also telling us they demand to see more action. The increased sustainability of our supply chain partners will therefore enable us all to become more efficient and profitable businesses, better positioned to serve our customers.”

According to Mr. Walker-Palin, the benefits of the new scheme for suppliers include direct access to information, ideas, experts and their peers in order to develop ideas and demonstrate leadership. Ideally, it will also aid accelerated understanding, knowledge and efficiency, as well as offering savings through reduced duplication of effort across the Asda-Walmart supply chain.

“We want to improve collaboration with and between our valued suppliers to explore new forms of partnership that drive growth, efficiency and profit through sustainability; and the Asda Exchange offers our suppliers the opportunities to help us to shape this for the future,” Walker-Palin added. “We’re aware that there are many challenges to investigating and initiating resource efficiency improvements, not least the time it takes to research new ideas, proving the business case/ROI, and engaging relevant stakeholders.

We’ll be creating an advisory board to represent key suppliers, and enable them to steer the evolution of the exchange. We at Asda think that Asda Exchange can help our suppliers to overcome many of these challenges by providing an opportunity to share information, knowledge and learning’s can be shared, questions raised, key documents posted, and focused activities attended, to spur new ideas and solve problems.”

Source: Laura Elliott - International Supermarket News

10 February 2012
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