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Take a look at our new sustainability strategy

Suma member in warehouse

Published: 10/05/2023

Updated: October 2nd, 2023 at 06:44 am

We’re pleased to say that we’ve just published our first sustainability strategy.

It’s an ambitious plan that takes us to 2030, outlining our co-op’s commitment to sustainability and the steps we’ll take to reduce our environmental impact and promote ethical and socially responsible business practices.

We’ve always been committed to sustainability. Our strategy takes our efforts to the next level. So the plan addreses key areas, like reducing waste and carbon emissions, supporting local suppliers and organic agriculture, and promoting fair trade, co-ops and B-Corps.

We already take steps to reduce our environmental impact. Planting circa 10,000 trees a year to help prevent flooding in their local area. Purchasing trucks fuelled by bio-gas made from food waste which result in 84% fewer emissions than the diesel equivalent. Using 100% renewable energy sources. Reducing packaging waste and plastic use wherever possible.

“As a worker co-op, we’ve worked hard to put environmental and social goals at the heart of everything we’ve done since we were founded over 45 years ago. We recognise that we’re facing a climate emergency and need to act.

“So over the last year we’ve reviewed our approach to sustainability. We’ve identified ways to step up and use our co-op as a force for good, creating a sustainability strategy that sets our direction up to 2030.”

Ben, Suma Sustainability Co-ordinator

Suma’s 2030 Sustainability Goals

1 Net Zero. By 2030, we aim to decarbonise our fleet of trucks by switching to electric and alternative fuel vehicles, and we will support our suppliers to help them reduce their carbon.

2 Zero Waste. We aim to be a zero waste to landfill business and by 2030 all our Suma brand packaging will be made from at least 30% recycled materials.

3 Nature. We aim for 75% of Suma brand products to be organic by 2030. We’ll offer a wide range of products that are grown without chemicals.

4 Decent Work. We aim to become a B-Corp and, by 2030, to support living wages throughout our supply chain.

5 Healthy and Sustainable Diets. We aim to increase the proportion of plant-based products (already at 90%) and healthy foods we supply by 2030.

6 Education and Engagement. By 2030 we’ll be forming partnerships with other organisations to educate and engage citizens on co-operative solutions to big challenges.

“As an equal pay, equal say worker co-op, we’ve always been focused on creating decent work for everyone at Suma. We’ll continue to increase diversity and inclusion for Suma workers. Workers have co-created this plan and believe that by working co-operatively together, we can create a more sustainable future for everyone.”

Ben, Sustainability Co-ordinator

An honest take

The also includes a roadmap for measuring and reporting on our progress towards these goals. We’ve been working closely with sustainability experts, Forum for the Future, to create the plan, and have appointed sustainability author Georgina Wilson-Powell as our accountability partner.

“We know being sustainable and ethical on a large scale is complicated. It’s important to us to provide honest, informed takes on the progress and setbacks. sharing what it’s really like for a larger, co-operative business to make the changes needed to face the climate emergency.”

Sophie Z, Suma Marketing team

Take a look at the full report here