Sainsbury’s brings net-zero target forward by five years

The supermarket has written to 400 of its suppliers to ask how they are performing against carbon reduction targets.

August Graham
Tuesday 26 October 2021 11:34
Sainsbury’s said it will switch all its stores to renewable energy by the end of the year (Danny Lawson/PA)
Sainsbury’s said it will switch all its stores to renewable energy by the end of the year (Danny Lawson/PA)

Sainsbury’s will eliminate its contributions to greenhouse gas emissions five years ahead of a previous plan, it announced on Tuesday as world leaders prepare for crunch talks in Glasgow.

The retailer said it will reach net zero by 2035, speeding up the pace of decarbonisation from its previous 2040 target.

Chief executive Simon Roberts said: “The clock is ticking. Climate targets matter – but action to deliver them matters more.

“The progress we’ve made has enabled us to accelerate our own targets and move faster to cut our emissions.”

The supermarket chain said its carbon footprint has reduced by 47% over the last 17 years, even as it grew its store space by 40%.

Tackling the climate emergency requires collaborative and transformational thinking across industry and government, and a willingness to work together and share learnings globally, so that we can all take meaningful, immediate action

Simon Roberts, Sainsbury's

In the last year Sainsbury’s said its absolute greenhouse emissions have been reduced by 25,580 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. It did not reveal how many tonnes it emits overall.

The retailer said it has written to 400 of its top suppliers to ask them to disclose how they are performing against carbon reduction targets. It did not say whether it will do anything if suppliers do not cut emissions.

Mr Roberts said: “We have a strong heritage in reducing our own emissions and are collaborating closely with our suppliers to ensure we’re driving positive change across our value chain too.

“Tackling the climate emergency requires collaborative and transformational thinking across industry and government, and a willingness to work together and share learnings globally, so that we can all take meaningful, immediate action.”

He added: “We recognise that we not only have a responsibility to our colleagues and the communities we serve in the UK, but to those we source from globally, to reduce the impact our business has on the environment.”

By the end of the year Sainsbury’s will have switched all its electricity to what it says are renewable sources.

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