The European, Middle Eastern and African division of Foster's Group has signed up the Courtauld Commitment, an environmental initiative organised by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) in the UK.

Foster's EMEA said yesterday that the commitment is "a key initiative" and complements the group's promise to avoid increasing the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

As part of this commitment, Foster's said it has expanded its bulk shipping and local bottling of wine in the UK. More than 50% of containers are also freighted via rail service, which further reduces CO2 emissions.

Other initiatives include reducing the weight of glass in selected SKUs in the UK and consolidating deliveries to reduce the number of lorries on the road.

"Through engaging with WRAP's Retail Innovation team, and signing the Courtauld Commitment, we are now collaborating with other signatories to help achieve 2010 packaging targets, as well as developing future strategies," said Rob Hollis, Foster's EMEA's supply chain director.

The Courtauld Commitment is a voluntary agreement between WRAP and 40 major UK grocery organisations that supports less packaging and food waste ending up in household bins.

Under the agreement, retailers, brand owners and manufactures and working in partnership to develop new solutions and technologies including reducing the weight of packaging and increasing the amount of recycled content packaging used.