Improving how products are sourced, made and sold is at the heart of the way you do business. We all know British consumers are extremely demanding; they want great prices but they also rightly expect retailers to respect the environment. Retailers also know the only way to secure the best products for the long term is to source responsibly and help consumers make the most of those products; reducing waste and ensuring their reuse where possible.

The combination of demanding customers and progressive retailers means the UK retail industry leads the world in its approach to reducing the environmental impact of the produces it sells. So our aim is to help our members to demonstrate this through A Better Retailing Climate, a programme that sets clear and challenging targets – agreed with independent experts – to drive progress in retail supply chains, stores and homes. Retailers know they have huge influence with their suppliers and customers and we want to show they are using that influence positively to make a real difference in improving the environment wherever they source and operate.

The targets, jointly agreed with those involved in the programme, reflect the factors that make the biggest difference to improving the way products are made and sold. They include reducing carbon and greenhouse emissions, reducing waste and packaging, reducing water use and demonstrating responsible sourcing of palm oil, fish, timber and other commodities.

The targets meet and surpass domestic and international environmental agreements, including the COP 21 Climate Change agreement and the UN sustainable development goals. We report progress annually to ensure complete transparency and publish regular updates on specific issues such as food waste and responsible sourcing to show how UK retailers are tackling particular challenges.

Read our regular blogs on the industry's progress towards the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on Edie.net