Supplier awards

Each year Asda hands out awards to recognise all the incredible work our suppliers have done to drive sustainability in their own operations and within our supply chain. These awards recognise the efforts being made to save money, reduce resource use and increase sustainability, as well as the people working hard to make it happen.

The winners of this year’s awards were voted for by over 400 members of the Asda Sustain and Save Exchange.  

There are five awards given out each year: Everyday Improvements; Investing for the Future; Products – Making Green Normal; Internal Engagement; and Unsung Hero.

Everyday Improvements award

The Everyday Improvements award celebrates improvement projects that don’t break the bank. It recognises those projects with small budgets but big impact.

The winner of this year’s Everyday Improvements award went to Alpro UK for the work they did on modifying cooling systems for their soya bean processing.

As a producer of soya milk, part of Alpro’s process involves extracting protein from soya beans. This requires a huge amount of water. With a large expansion to the site, production volumes rose significantly, which further increased demand for water.

Alpro wanted to get more out of the water being used. One member of production identified a better way of cooling parts of the system to save water. Spending only £100 to implement new pipework, Alpro changed its systems so two seals could be cooled by one water supply. This small change has cut Alpro’s water use by 13 million litres of water a year – and the initial investment was paid back within a week.

This project is the perfect example that, although it can be daunting, even the smallest of changes can have a significant impact.

Investing for the Future award

The Investing for the Future award goes to the supplier who has displayed long-term forward thinking and recognises sustainability projects with lasting impacts.

This year’s award went to Lincolnshire Herbs for their innovative ground source heating system.

Lincolnshire Herbs supplies Asda’s living herbs range. It invested in a £1.4 million ground source heating system to provide heat energy via groundwater to the company’s large commercial glasshouse.

This initiative is the only one of its kind in Europe and has been extremely complex, taking over six years to develop. The sustainability benefits drove the project forward and it has offered serious rewards including a 44 per cent reduction in carbon emissions and 58 per cent reduction in energy costs.

This project means that Lincolnshire Herbs has been able to reduce the cost and environmental impact of growing and supplying Living Pot Herbs. Ultimately, it has future-proofed the sustainability of the business.

Products – Making Green Normal award

This award is given to businesses that put the customer at the heart of what they do and really take the idea of a more sustainable product to the next level.

The winner of the 2016 Products - Making Green Normal award was ABP, for their innovative skin packaging and ovenable beef joints.

ABP’s packaging initiative consisted of ground-breaking skin packaging and easy-to-cook ovenable beef joints. Challenging traditional methods of packaging meat, ABP developed and delivered a new type of packaging to help Asda customers save money and reduce food waste. The innovative packaging increases the shelf life of meat products and ensures they stay fresher for longer.

ABP worked with Asda to understand what the customer wants – this collaborative approach was the key to its success. Since 2012, this packaging initiative has led to huge reductions in waste costs of around £3.5 million per year.

What started out as an initiative to increase shelf life, resulted in an innovative sustainability project that reduces waste and helps customers save money and live better.

Internal Engagement award

The Internal Engagement award recognises the organisation that has truly involved and engaged their employees in a sustainability initiative.

This year’s award went to Fresh-Pak for their food waste reduction programme.

Fresh-Pak Chilled Foods is the UK’s largest producer of boiled eggs and a leading manufacturer of quality sandwich fillings. In 2015, it recognised a need to manage its waste as a significant proportion of it was still going to landfill. Fresh-Pak wanted everyone to be involved, so provided opportunities for all employees to propose ideas for reducing waste.

Employees are now challenging ways of doing things and constantly looking for ways to improve. The initiative continues to drive change in the business, as new ideas are being brought to the table every day. As a result of this programme, Fresh-Pak are seeing £200,000 waste cost savings as well as reducing their environmental impact.

Unsung Hero award

This award recognises an employee who has shown great dedication and commitment to delivering resource efficiency and sustainability in their organisation. It is someone who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to drive sustainability within an organisation.

This year, the Unsung Hero award went to Dave Maggs of Yeo Valley for his progressive work on zero waste.

Dave was the Environmental Management Coordinator of Yeo Valley’s Cannington yogurt site from 2006 to 2015 and was a true sustainability leader. Though he passed away suddenly in August 2015, he was nominated by his colleagues for the Unsung Hero award. With a colourful career in the merchant navy, Dave worked all over the world before he landed with Yeo Valley. He was responsible for Cannington’s environmental management, which included achieving a company-wide zero waste target. He worked hard to make sure sustainability was popular among Yeo Valley employees, always setting an example for others to follow. Dave’s hard work in sustainability certainly lives on.