Supplier relationship management just got a little tougher for procurement professionals at Tesco. The British supermarket giant has unveiled phase two of its ambitious ‘Remove, Reduce, Reuse & Recycle’ initiative, which aims to eliminate all the “hardest to recycle materials” from its own-brand products by the end of the year.
The first phase of this endeavour launched in 2018 and has already ensured that Tesco’s own-brand products have largely eliminated such materials. The next phase sets out to achieve the same results with third-party suppliers. The supermarket chain’s Group CEO, Dave Lewis, announced that Tesco reserves the right to remove any product from its offerings that fails to comply on the new tough stance enshrined in the reycling effort. Excessive packaging, especially with materials that pose the greatest recycling challenges, is now officially ‘out.’
While there may be implications for cost reduction, category management, and strategic sourcing, the initiative is forging ahead. Tesco has held four meetings with 1,500 suppliers to clarify its vision, which will take effect during 2020 by audits on packaging size and material suitability. Tesco has commercial might on its side, and with a towering 27% market share, it leads the British supermarket pack and suppliers will be averse to losing a place on its shelves.
Addressing the immense depth of global plastic wastage, Lewis insisted that the measures included in the initiative were now necessities and called on the British government to build a more effective recycling infrastructure. He said that without this, any industry efforts to make materials more recyclable wouldn’t make much of an impact. Lewis added that the need to take action “has never been more pressing” and that the chain would be willing to give up space in their car parks for recycling and to test the collection of materials which local councils are not currently recycling.