Green car insurance is a growing market, according to the Co-operative Bank. However, the bank insists it is too early to say whether environmentally-conscious financial products will overhaul the traditional market. “Climate change and the environment in particular are extremely important to consumers – the government has actually asked the industry to do more,” said a spokesperson for the company. ” The spokesperson added that the Co-operative Bank has a “mandate” in place which invites customers to tell them which ethical concerns with which to become involved.
DHL in Germany has launched a new offer called GoGreen which allows clients to pay part of the transport cost. The sum will be used for environmental projects as a means of compensation of the pollution incurred by the transport of the client’s parcel. It calculates that the transportation of a 5kg parcel from Paris to Washington causes emissions of 29kg of CO2.
The Financial Times reports that the cost of energy-efficient light bulbs looks likely to fall after European Union governments backed an end to extra tariffs on Chinese imports. The EU wants traditions bulbs to be banned within a few years to cut carbon emissions and retailers claim that this goal has been undermined by the high price of energy-efficient bulbs. The British Retail Consortium’s Kevin Hawkins said: “Retailers are doing all they can to bring down the cost to customers of helping the environment while Europe pushes up the cost with unjustifiable import taxes”.
The Mail on Sunday reports that Whole Foods Market’s flagship store in Kensington, London has sales of Â£500,000-a-week, a third of its projected break-even target. Whole Foods has also been criticised for its local-sourcing policy, with some foods labelled ‘local’ when they have travelled more than 300 miles and industry experts estimating that just ten per cent of the food in the British store is organic in origin. Following a complaint made by Waitrose trading standards officials are investigating Whole Foods’ definition of locally-produced food covers food produced anywhere in the UK. Waitrose is also believed to be concerned about labelling.
Boots is to place recycling bins in its stores to collect thousands of copies of so called “freesheet” newspapers, which are becoming an environmental problem in many British cities. London alone has four different free newspapers per week day.
Supermarkets have been urged to cut-down on “super-size” packs in an attempt to reduce the amount of fresh food that is wasted. The move comes after government watchdogs revealed that UK households waste Â£23bn worth of food every year. Labour MP Anne Snelgrove is reported to want to work with retailers to address the problem.
The Times reports that The Soil Association, which certifies about 80% of organic produce in the United Kingdom, has threatened to take away the organic certification from farms in East Africa because their produce is transported to Europe by air, contributing to global warming. However, the article looks at the prospective devastating impact this proposal would have upon farmers in Africa.
Eco-St, the ecological retailer which sells a variety of energy and water saving devices, is planning to open 10 standalone stores and 100 concessions over the next three years. The retailer has launched its first concession at the Chinnor Garden Centre in Oxfordshire.
From this month Ikea, the Swedish furniture retailer, has abandoned single use carrier bags in all its UK stores.