Unilever and IGD join forces for a more sustainable future

Last night, two of the grocery sector’s pioneering companies in sustainability shared a moment of celebration as Unilever presented IGD’s prestigious Sustainable Future Award 2014 to fellow exemplar company, Marks and Spencer.

The awards ceremony celebrates the best companies in the grocery industry, including those leading in sustainability, and Unilever sponsored and helped to judge the Sustainable Future Award, which was the most hotly contested category this year.

Charlotte Carroll, Communications Director, Unilever UK & Ireland, said, “The very fact that the Sustainable Future Award received the highest number of entries out of all categories this year shows just how important sustainability is across the board to the grocery sector. It’s a sector which touches every household, and every individual, so the aggregate impact we can make as an industry is phenomenal.

“Standing out from the crowd on this occasion, the judges decided that Marks & Spencer’s Sustainability Framework is a truly industry-leading project and the worthy winner of this year’s award. The highly strategic and collaborative approach the M&S team has adopted with its suppliers really impressed the judges, along with the results that the initiative has generated. It showcased how a company has achieved commercial, environmental and social success, which has helped both M&S and its suppliers to operate more sustainably.”

Commenting on the IGD Awards, Joanne Denney-Finch, IGD Chief Executive, said: “This year’s IGD Awards received the highest number of entries we have ever had. From small start-ups to medium-sized companies to large international ones, I was incredibly impressed with the breadth and quality of the submissions we received. They demonstrate the best-in-class leadership, innovation and excellence our industry has to offer.”

The awards took place just one week after the launch of the IGD’s cross-industry initiative, Working on Waste, through which a wide array of fast moving consumer goods companies – including Unilever – will work towards reducing consumer food waste.

Commenting on the Working on Waste campaign, Joanne Denney-Finch said: “A lot of progress has been made already by companies across the industry to help consumers reduce household food waste. However, seven million tonnes of food and drink is still being thrown away by UK homes every year, costing consumers £12.5bn – so there’s more work to be done.

“I’m thrilled that companies of all sizes are supporting this campaign, demonstrating how serious they are about tackling food waste in homes. Through this scale, collaboration and power of our industry, we have the potential to make a substantial impact collectively in reducing household food waste in the UK.”

Unilever has already made significant headway in the area of food waste, most recently raising consumer awareness and education through the recently-completed Live Better Challenge with The Guardian, which ran a series of seven month-long challenges encouraging people to live more sustainably through reducing food waste, cutting down on energy consumption and saving water. The food waste challenge was the kick-off challenge and still remains the most popular challenge, showing the nation’s desire to lap up their leftovers and throw away less food.

Katya Bridges - UK and Ireland Media Relations Manager

T: 01372 945925
M: 07785 450287

katya.bridges@unilever.com

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