British supermarket giant Sainsbury’s has announced it will be investing
one billion pounds to help it meet a number of new sustainability targets
which include becoming a net zero business across its own operations by
The retailer said it would use the money to implement a number of
changes focusing on reducing carbon emissions, food waste, plastic
packaging and water usage while increasing recycling, biodiversity and
encouraging healthy and sustainable eating.
Among a number of new initiatives to reach the announced targets,
Sainsbury’s also said it would be repurposing 5,000 tonnes of clothing
annually through its donation banks across in 340 stores and carparks.
“The retailer will recycle more operational waste and continue to expand
and provide facilities to help customers recycle unwanted clothing, metal
cans, glass, paper, batteries and other materials,” Sainsbury’s said.
The retailer will be working with the Carbon Trust to assess emissions
and set science-based targets for reduction and will be publicly reporting
on progress every six months. Sainsbury’s will also work with its suppliers
to set their own Net Zero commitments, in line with the Paris Agreement
Mike Coupe, CEO of Sainsbury’s, said: “Our commitment has always been to
help customers live well for less, but we must recognise that living well
now also means living sustainably.
“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.”
Coupe also highlighted the effort the retailer had already made in
recent years. Its current carbon footprint is one million tonnes, a 35
percent absolute reduction in the past 15 years despite its space
increasing by 46 percent. It has also invested 260 million pounds in more
than 3,000 initiatives in the last decade, including the start of its LED
lighting programme and refrigeration.
Coupe continued: “We recognise that we have a once in a lifetime
opportunity to make the changes needed to help the planet exist
sustainably. We have over 27 million customers each week and almost 180,000
colleagues and we hope that we can collaborate across industries and
sectors to help create momentum and drive meaningful change. Only when the
trajectory for global warming slows to a maximum of 1.5 degrees will we all
know that we can truly live well for less now and in the future.”
Photo credit: Tu Clothing, Facebook