The UK retail industry is exceeding many of its green goals, a progress report has found.

According to the British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) A Better Retailing Climate progress report, a group of 25 leading retailers - including The Co-operative - have exceeded targets to reduce waste, water and emissions.

Just 10% of waste was sent to landfill in 2012, beating the original target of 15% by 2013.

The group had also committed to reduce delivery emissions by 15% by 2013, and in fact achieved a 27% reduction by 2012.

The sector is also on track with its goals to reduce food waste, packaging and customers’ carrier bag usage.

Set up in 2008, the Better Retailing Climate initiative also makes recommendations to government to help drive further progress, including implementing provisions in the 2012 draft Water Bill to enable businesses to choose their water suppliers.

The BRC is also calling for EU regulations governing the shape and size of fruit and vegetables to be relaxed further, so that more ‘wonky veg’ can be sold in stores.

BRC environment policy adviser Alice Ellison said: “This update demonstrates that the retail industry is going above and beyond in its commitments to reducing its environmental impact across all aspects of its operations. Despite the downturn and other challenges affecting business, retailers are continuing to innovate and collaborate in this space, which delivers real environmental benefits as well as value for their customers.”