Morrisons like many other UK supermarkets are working towards becoming more sustainable to be in line with the UK Government’s goal to reach net zero by 2050. The supermarket chain has roughly 500 stores throughout the UK, making it the 4th largest supermarket chain in the UK, and each one of their stores contributes to their overall carbon footprint.
Over the past few years, the supermarket has made several changes to become greener and more sustainable. These include:
1. ECO Shop
Morrisons now has its own eco-range offering a range of eco-friendly alternatives for necessary items such as washing up liquid, toilet roll and laundry detergent. The range still has a way to go, however, to be fully sustainable as most of the packaging is made from plastic.
2. ECO Store
In July (2022), Morrisons opened the doors to its first eco store. In order to lower the company’s carbon footprint, the supermarket is testing out its new eco store. The store has loose products to lower the use of packaging and to encourage customers to bring their own reusables.
The structure of the store has a low carbon impact, and the refrigerators are run on CO2 from agricultural waste. The supermarket has opted for renewable energy as solar panels have been installed onto the roof. In order to limit water usage, rainwater will be collected and used to flush the toilets on site.
To lower plastic waste, a percentage of the products sold in the eco store will have little to no plastic packaging meaning shoppers can opt for a more sustainably packaged product.
In 2019, the supermarket giant won an award at the Responsible Business Awards. The supermarket came first out of 23 companies who had all worked to reduce their plastic use. Morrisons won due to its initiative that saw the supermarket reach a 9,000 tonne reduction in plastic waste a year. This is due to its introduction of its new paper grocery bags, swapping plastic wrapped fruit and vegetables for loose produce instead and scrapping unnecessary plastic use throughout its stores.
4. Free water bottle refills
After realising that a large proportion of the supermarkets’ plastic waste was coming from their petrol stations as people filled up and grabbed a drink in a plastic bottle, they started a new initiative to have free refill stations in their petrol stations. The initiative was successful and in 2021, the supermarket moved the initiative into their stores.
There is a lot more that Morrisons can do to become more sustainable, however, they appear to moving in the right direction, especially when it comes to reducing their plastic waste.