Greggs opens its first Eco Shop to test out sustainable in-store initiatives

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3 min read
AUTHOR: Fiona Holland
Greggs Eco Shop interior

British bakery chain Greggs has opened its first Eco Shop in Great Billing, Northampton, where it will test out new solutions and initiatives that aim to reduce the environmental impact of the company’s operations.

Some of the new solutions being trialled include eco-ovens, recyclable flooring, cistern-less and air assisted toilets, solar control glass, and heat pump air curtains. These changes have been put in place to help the store with waste management, water and overall energy reduction.

Some 250 of Greggs’ shops will include elements of the Eco Shop design by the end of 2022, and according to the company’s sustainability plan – the Greggs Pledge – a quarter of stores across the UK will have these features by 2025.

Tony Rowson, Property Director at Greggs, said: “We’re delighted to have launched our first Eco Shop, in line with our Greggs Pledge and Net Zero commitments. As a responsible business we have a duty to our customers and to our planet to change the world for the better.

“Our new Eco Shop format gives us a platform to develop and test solutions to minimise our impact on the environment by cutting our waste, energy and water usage. As we continue to trial new and innovative sustainability initiatives we look forward to making real progress in our goal to becoming a greener Greggs.”

The bakery chain worked alongside three specialist third party consultancies to build the “greener” branch – Quantum Zero, Bureau Veritas, and Innovation Gateway.

The Greggs Pledge includes ten commitments to “make the world a better place by 2025”, and help the chain reach Net Zero by 2040.

As well as building these Eco Shops, the other ten aims it has between now and 2025 include:

  • Supporting more children through the Greggs Breakfast Clubs
  • Reducing food waste by 25% compared to 2018
  • Setting up Greggs Outlet shops selling affordable food in areas of social deprivation
  • Making 30% of items on shelves healthier choices, and introducing promotions for these products
  • Developing a Responsible Sourcing Strategy and reporting annually on progress
  • Using 25% less packaging by weight than in 2019
  • Improving diversity and representation in the Greggs workforce
  • Securing and maintaining Tier 1 in the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare Standard

Since the successful launch of the vegan sausage roll in 2019, Greggs has also added more plant-based options to its menus, including the Bean & Cheeze Melt, a Vegan Sausage Breakfast Roll, and a Vegan Ham & Cheeze baguette with Quorn. Last month they also introduced vegan cajun chicken rolls and vegan ploughman’s sandwiches.

Other British food retailers are also introducing new sustainable initiatives. Last month, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Co-op announced they would trial the introduction of a virtual environmental labelling system, helping to inform customers on the carbon footprint of the food they buy.

Non-profit Foundation Earth is also trying to establish an environmental impact score for the front-of-pack of food items. Find out how it’s calculated and why it’s essential in this Food Matters Live Podcast episode:

Is it time for environmental impact scores on food?

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