Co-op Supermarket, Woodbridge, Suffolk Awarded Carbon Charter Gold Standard


East of England Co-op is the largest independent retailer operating in the East of England. They supply a variety of services including food stores, funerals and travel services.

The Co-op store in Woodbridge opened in 2016 and started working with the Carbon Charter not long after. Our Sustainability Consultants calculated their annual carbon footprint starting from December 2016 and have been supporting them ever since.

In 2017 they were awarded Carbon Charter Gold. The new store was clearly designed with environmental efficiency in mind and included efficient LED lighting, sensors & timers throughout, roof insulation and many more measures. A beacon of environmental efficiencies for the local community.

Additional measures were added in 2020 and again in 2022, showcasing continual improvement and sustaining their Carbon Charter Gold level.

In addition, the East of England Co-op is a Pathfinder Partner for the Carbon Charter, meaning they proactively work to accredit some or all of their supply chain, further reducing businesses impact on the environment.

Here’s some of the measures they have implemented over the years:

Reducing emissions in-stores

  • All electricity from renewable sources
  • LED lighting with occupancy sensors and timers
  • Energy efficient closed-door refrigeration units
  • Heat recovery from chillers
  • ‘Smart’ equipment encourages correct temperatures to be maintained
  • Night blinds closed on chiller units (monitored centrally)
  • Effective colleague ‘switch-off’ campaign run in store

Reducing waste

  • Co-op ‘Guide to Dating’ successfully decreases food waste disposal
  • 100% food waste is sent for anaerobic digestion
  • All waste separated and backhauled by delivery vehicles
  • Auto-replenishment systems avoid waste
  • Daily reporting on % of waste relating to sales separated by department.
  • Colleagues are present at weekly ‘Waste Watchers’ meetings

Working with suppliers

  • Sourced Locally’ scheme aids local growers and producers and reduces food miles
  • East of England Co-op aids suppliers as a Pathfinder Partner for the Carbon Charter
  • Colleague visits to local farms and suppliers improves relationships, developing knowledge of quality, seasonal produce and food miles

Sustainable transport

  • Van which uses smart tech and Adblue to reduce emissions
  • Effective route planning, grouping together journeys to reduce emissions
  • Town centre home deliveries made on foot
  • ‘Cycle to Work’ scheme available to colleagues
  • Staff travel survey completed bi-annually
  • Car sharing and teleconferencing is encouraged where possible

Encouraging ‘Greener’ choices

  • Mobile phone, battery, WEE and plastic recycling for customers available in store
  • Compostable and reusable bags available for loose goods
  • ‘Bottle for Life’ sold as replacement for bottled water

Chris Matthews, Store Manager added,

“Environmental issues are really important to the Co-op and our Colleagues. We’re so proud to have gained this Gold level award again!’