Sainsbury’s will invest £1 billion to have net zero greenhouse gas emissions across its own operations by 2040, a decade ahead of the UK government’s own target.
The retailer will implement a programme of changes, with a focus on reducing carbon emissions, food waste, plastic packaging and water usage and increasing recycling, biodiversity and healthy and sustainable eating.
It will also work with the Carbon Trust to assess emissions and set science-based targets for reduction, publicly reporting on progress every six months. The targets will align the business with the goal to limit global warming to 1.5°C, the highest ambition of the Paris Agreement.
“We have a duty to the communities we serve to continue to reduce the impact our business has on the environment and we are committing to reduce our own carbon emissions and become net zero by 2040, ten years ahead of the government’s own targets, because 2050 isn’t soon enough,” said Mike Coupe, outgoing CEO of Sainsbury’s.
“We have a strong heritage of reducing our carbon emissions – we have reduced them by 35% over the past fifteen years despite the footprint of our business increasing by over 40%. We invested £260 million in over 3,000 initiatives over the last decade, including the start of our LED lighting programme and refrigeration.
“Over the next 20 years, we will invest a further £1 billion in programmes that will transform the way we do business and put environmental impact at the forefront of every decision we make.
Sainsbury’s will halve its plastic packaging by 2025 and will replace hard-to-recycle plastic and polystyrene packaging from its own-brand ranges with recyclable alternatives by the end of this year.
It has also committed to reducing food waste by 50% by 2030. The company said it has developed innovative packaging and clearer labelling to increase the shelf life of products and let customers know how long they can enjoy them for.
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