On 29th March Tesco held a conference entitled 'Greening our supply chain'. It is of interest because the companies represented included many of those that are in the convenience channel supply chain like Palmer & Harvey, Unilever, Pepsico, Molson Coors and many others. What these companies do at the suggestion of Tesco they do for/to us.

The core of Tesco's approach is to attack the company’s impact along the climate change agenda. In the introduction David North, UK Corporate Affairs Director at Tesco stated that they were saving £100 million a year by reducing their energy consumption so one can see there is a commercial sense to their programme.

Marks and Spencer with their 'Plan A' and the Co-operative both appear to have a wider focus with their environmental impact policies, but again because they have many of our suppliers in their supply chain whose product are in our range their actions effect us.

So what’s happening in our supply chain? Both of our major suppliers, Capper & Co and Smiths News are making changes. Capper – who have recently been taken over by AF Blakemore – will benefit from the waste and transport management work that has been undertaken. Smiths News also have a programme of change that includes waste and energy management.

For ourselves we have been looking at the number of suppliers we use and have endeavoured to reduce the number that we buy from. This has led to the number of delivery lorries coming to our door reducing.

Each week we currently receive four deliveries from Capper, nine from Smiths News, six from Greencore, six from our local baker and three from Allied Bakeries. On top of this we have three weekly suppliers, three fortnightly and a handful of others. Finally of course, as a Post Office, Royal Mail collect 11 times a week, but most of these are done by Postmen returning to their delivery office.

Reducing our supplier base has not reduced our range, but it has reduced the road miles involved in keeping our shop stocked.

What are you doing to reduce your impact on the environment?