Coles first supermarket to offer carbon-neutral beef

Coles will become the first major supermarket chain in Australia to offer a certified private label carbon-neutral beef as the retailer polishes up its green credentials and appeals to a growing cohort of shoppers who are environmentally conscious.

The offering includes seven cuts from eye fillet to porterhouse steak.

The carbon-neutral beef range is available in Victorian stores this week with a national rollout over the next 12 months.

It is certified carbon-neutral from paddock to shelf to the Australian Government’s Climate Active Carbon Neutral Standard.

Over the past two years, Coles has been working with beef farmers across Victoria and New South Wales to help calculate and reduce emissions.

The work has resulted in emissions that are 19 per cent below the Australian national average.

It comes as companies, and especially retailers, seek to improve their green credentials before customers who are increasingly demanding environmentally friendly products and for the businesses that they shop at to limit their carbon emissions or target zero emissions.

“Coles Finest Certified Carbon Neutral Beef is a testament to the hard work of our beef producers and their commitment to sustainable practices, and we’re thrilled that they’re taking this important step with us,” said Coles chief executive Steven Cain.

“When we announced our sustainability strategy just over a year ago, we said we’d work with all our stakeholders to achieve our Together to Zero emissions ambitions and to be Australia’s most sustainable supermarket,” he said.

The home brand Coles carbon-neutral beef will carry the Climate Active stamp to identify it to customers walking the aisle.

Last year, Coles shifted gears to meet its target of operations being powered by 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2025 and to deliver net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 by signing two major agreements with leading renewable energy companies ENGIE and Neoen.

In 2019, it became the first Australian retailer to sign up to a solar energy scheme that will see the equivalent of 10 per cent of the supermarket’s national electricity usage supplied from newly built solar power plants.

Last year, it binned its highly popular Little Shop collectables promotion, ending one of the most successful sales campaigns in recent retailing history that triggered a sales bonanza for the supermarket.

The collectibles were used in Christmas 2018 and 2019, however, reflecting the growing embrace of environmental and sustainable issues by the public, and especially Coles shoppers, the supermarket giant acknowledged the backlash around the giveaway of plastic toys.

The packaging for the new Coles home brand beef range is fully recyclable and made from 90 per cent recycled and plant-based sources, an Australian innovation by Coles’ packaging partner Plantic.

“As part of our ongoing sustainability journey, Coles is exploring further opportunities to partner with our suppliers on sustainability initiatives, so we can ensure a better future for generations to come,” Mr Cain said.

Delatite Station cattle farmers Mark and Fenella Ritchie have been supplying Coles for 10 years, and are now among the beef producers working with Coles to deliver certified carbon-neutral beef.

“We are really pleased to be part of the carbon-neutral beef project with Coles. We are always looking to produce the finest quality beef with a strong commitment to environmental and animal welfare values that are backed up with an evidence-based approach to our decision making,” Mr Ritchie said.


Extracted from The Australian

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