Resource efficient and sustainable buying in grocery supply chains

WRAP is working to support retailers and manufacturers increase their resource efficient and sustainable behaviour through buying practices.

How industry can take action

We have produced a business case that sets out the commercial benefits of resource efficient and sustainable buying.  
Our category buying model describes how resource efficient and sustainable buying can be integrated into standard buying approaches.

Our Information note describes the work and highlights how industry can take action. We have made available a Research report that describes industry’s participation in developing the business case and category buying model to support a more sustainable food system.

See also: Case studies on how leading companies are already implementing sustainable buying practices. 

We have recently added a case study demonstrating how Nestle has engaged with its suppliers to identify waste prevention measures and embed these into day to day working arrangements.

Summary of opportunities

WRAP’s research shows buyers’ practices are motivated by price, quality and delivery, but that retailers and manufacturers increasingly recognise their purchasing power can be used to deliver sustainable outcomes.  

Buying mechanisms provide an opportunity for retailers and manufacturers to increase efficiency – reducing waste, costs and risk in the supply chain – while increasing resilience and helping to deliver corporate commitments for sustainability.

There are several opportunities for companies to build on existing practices including through the following:

  • Embedding and deepening corporate sustainability targets by linking them to buyer incentives and targets through an enhanced category management process;
  • Undertaking risk assessments to identify category pinch points on waste, water, bio-diversity, energy and social criteria in order to prioritise the supply of products against vulnerability and resilience;
  • Development of relevant terms of supply and contract clauses relating to PQQs, and ITTs for example which can be used to drive change through standard supply terms and where new products are being sourced; 
  • Using supplier assessments and associated KPIs to drive resource efficiency and sustainability, by providing clear expectations on waste prevention, water and energy use reduction; and
  • Develop enhanced product specifications that reflect reductions in resource use and which deliver better sustainability outcomes. 

Download the Information note, business case, category buying model, Research report and Case studies.

See also the recently added Nestle case study - Engaging with suppliers on waste prevention