Retail giant Tesco has committed to sourcing all of the electricity for use in its supply chain from renewable sources by 2030.
The target, which applies to both Tesco’s retail stores and distribution centres, will allow the company to play its part in counteracting climate change. They are a more ambitious version of climate change objectives set by Tesco ten years ago, including to halve emissions per square foot by 2020 and become a zero-carbon business by 2050.
Tesco head of climate change and sustainable agriculture Kené Umeasiegbu said: “As citizens and members of the community, our customers and colleagues expect Tesco to play its part in caring for the planet.
“We’ve invested over £700 million in energy and refrigeration efficiency in our stores and distribution centres since 2007. This has reduced emissions by 41% per square foot of our estate. We are on track to achieve our 50% target by 2020. Our efficiency improvements have also cut our electricity bill by £200 million per year. Energy efficiency is not only the responsible thing to do, it saves money too.
“Our 50% ‘relative’ carbon reduction target translates into 10% ‘absolute’ reduction by 2020. This means we’re on track to emit 10% less carbon from our estate in 2020 than we did in 2006. We are very proud of this achievement and will continue to invest in energy and refrigeration efficiency.
“Yet, we recognise that this pace of decarbonisation does not put us on track [for] becoming a zero-carbon business by 2050. So today we publish tougher targets to help Tesco contribute to limiting global temperature rises to 1.5°C.”
Emissions from Tesco’s stores and distribution centres account for more than 85% of the business’ direct carbon footprint.
The latest objectives, revealed today, are therefore a significant show of intent from one of the world’s biggest retail groups to improve its environmental performance.
Tesco operates more than 6,800 stores in ten countries – including the UK, Czech Republic, Slovakia, India and China – and generated group-wide sales of almost £50 billion in 2016/17. It is the sixth largest food retailer by sales, after Walmart, Costco, Kroger, Carrefour and Aldi.
Food intolerance partnership
Also today, Tesco has announced a partnership in the UK that will allow its online customers to filter products according to specific diets and tastes.
The collaboration with Spoon Guru will allow shoppers to more easily make food choices that fit with their individual preferences, and marks the latest step in Tesco’s effort to make healthier choices ‘a little easier’ for its customers.
The partnership is a first for UK grocery retail and will provide Tesco customers with a unique online and mobile shopping experience, with the ability to filter food searches by intolerance – such as lactose or nuts – specific dietary requirements including vegetarian and vegan, and nutritional profiles like low-salt and low-sugar.
The new service will replicate the increasing popularity of ‘niche aisles’ in brick-and-mortar supermarkets, where products that are free-from or low-calorie are grouped together for convenience.
It will be available on the Tesco mobile app from next week before being rolled out to its full online platform in the summer.
Tesco chief customer officer Alessandra Bellini said: “We want to make it easy for customers to shop with us online and help them make the right food choices, so we’re really excited to be working with Spoon Guru. Adding their technology to Tesco.com is another little help for customers, and we hope it will make a big difference to those with specific diets and tastes.”
Spoon Guru CEO Markus Stripf added: “We know from our own research that 54% of UK adults followed a diet in 2016. Whether due to a lifestyle choice, allergies or intolerances, Britain’s dietary needs are vast and using technology like Spoon Guru, retailers can make shopping much simpler, easier and a more pleasurable experience.
“From inception, our goal at Spoon Guru was to support the millions of people who struggle with intolerances, allergies and specific dietary needs and we are thrilled that Tesco recognises this and is partnering with us to evolve a game-changing solution for the population’s changing dietary needs.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019
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