The retailer received an entity rating of 3 (where 1 is excellent and 5 is poor) from the ratings agency, with Sustainable Fitch noting ‘Asda’s progressive effort to integrate ESG considerations into its business strategy’, adding that it has a 'solid foundation' from which to progress.
“We know that the ESG credentials of businesses are increasingly important to investors and customers alike, and improving the transparency around how we are progressing our ESG targets is a key aim for the business," commented Micheal Gleeson, chief financial officer at Asda.
"Two years into our new ownership, we are pleased to receive our first independent ESG rating from Sustainable Fitch, and to have achieved a score which shows that we are already in line with the largest retailers in our sector."
Sustainable Fitch rated Asda positively on its performance against its existing ESG targets, particularly relating to the decarbonisation of its operations by 40% since 2015, as well as the retailer's ongoing efforts to make packaging recyclable.
It also viewed Asda’s ESG reporting in a positive light, noting that the disclosure of environmental metrics aligns with good market practice, and the trend in emissions shows sustained reduction across all scopes.
In terms of Asda's social profile, Sustainable Fitch noted the retailers human and labour rights policies, as well as its balanced workforce, with 49% representation.
Elsewhere, the retailer's efforts to reduce fat, salt and sugar from its products, as well as improve food nutrition labelling, were noted as positive steps.
Climate-Related Scenario Analysis
Asda plans to make further disclosures related climate-related scenario analysis in its forthcoming accounts for 2023.
"We look forward to the opportunity that our continued growth offers us to improve on this score and reassure all of Asda’s stakeholders about our commitment to responsible retailing," Gleeson added.