Supermarkets improving but still fall short of green standards

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Supermarkets have made progress on green issues in recent years but are still failing to care enough for the environment, a study has found.

The National Consumer Council checked Britain's eight leading grocery chains for seasonal food, organics, sustainability and waste and found that, despite improvements, none of the stores performed well enough to merit its top "A" ranking. Waitrose was rated the greenest supermarket with a "good" B, but even it was criticised for air-freighting too much fruit and veg.

Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury rated C - "showing potential", though both relied too much on imports that caused pollution.

Tesco - which had a "poor score overall" given its position as Britain's biggest retailer; Asda, poor on wood and recycling; and the Co-op, which was dismal on fish, were all ranked D - "room for improvement". Morrisons and Somerfield performed badly in all areas apart from their high proportion of British fresh produce, and were rated E - "poor".

The NCC called on supermarkets to make green "mainstream" in their stores rather than in niche products and to engage and inspire their customers.

It said that they should offer card incentives for green behaviour, introduce sustainably-sourced fish and wood, and make all packaging from recycled material.

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