Friday, 29 June 2007

Co-op is the greenest retailer on the high street

The Co-operative Group has been found by an independent study to be the most climate-friendly chain on the high street. Their banking arm, Smile has been named the ‘best current account provider’ at the Which? Awards, with 82% of Smile customers “very satisfied with their treatment”, in stark contrast to the way most people feel about their bank. The environmental research company, Trucost carried out the study for the BBC’s Money Programme. The study found that for every million £ of turnover, the Co-operative produced £324 worth of carbon and waste, whereas Somerfield came out as the worst performer, producing £1,194 worth of carbon and waste for every million £ of turnover.

Although lesser known than its high street rivals, the Co-op has around 3,000 high street outlets and a workforce of 68,000. The Co-op has its own travel business, and is the UK’s largest independent travel agency. It was the first travel agency chain to offer carbon offsets with its flights. All in all, the Co-op is an innovative market leader in ethical business and retailing.

Score o9ne for the good guys. Being ethical can be made to work in the business world, so maybe there is a working model here for other high street brands to follow.

[Via The Independent]

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