Environmental Benchmarking of Suppliers in the UK Food Sector

Cifuentes, Marta Salvà and Jones, Simon (2012) Environmental Benchmarking of Suppliers in the UK Food Sector. Metronome, 2. pp. 9-20. ISSN 2046-1941


This paper aims to develop an audit toolkit that enables companies in the food sector to benchmark their suppliers in terms of environmental management. The paper reviews environmental practices and performance metrics in the food value chain by developing a custom designed survey to gather results, allow auditing and enable benchmarking of the best practice, common practice and areas for improvement among the suppliers. Some of the key areas in which the suppliers represented best practice include the
separation and recycling of their waste streams and efforts to reduce the use of raw materials, energy, water, pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers. Some suppliers were actively engaging with stakeholders in their value chain to collaborate on products and processes that reduced environmental impacts. Notably the supplier with the best environmental performance had both developed an Environmental Management Policy and also implemented it systematically.The areas that the study showed needed improvement included the need for all suppliers to implement an Environmental Management System, the need for more renewable sourcing for materials and energy, the need for systematic measurement of the food miles of products, and the carbon and water footprints of their business
processes. Both the approach taken and the results of this study have already proved beneficial for the collaborating partner, Reynolds Catering Supplies Ltd. as they anticipate its use for promoting improved environmental management among their suppliers.

Metronome vol 2 p.9-20.pdf - Published Version

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