Sainsbury's to invest £1 billion in sustainability

13th October 2011

13 10 2010

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  • Retail and wholesale ,
  • Food and drink ,
  • Agriculture ,
  • Natural resources ,
  • Supply chain



UK supermarket Sainsbury's has pledged to spend £1 billion over the coming decade to cut carbon emissions, improve waste management and encourage sustainable resource use across its supply chain.

In plans published this week, the firm outlines 20 goals it aims to achieve by 2020. These include cutting greenhouse-gas emissions across its operations by 30% in comparison to 2005 levels, halving the amount of packaging it uses and ensuring the raw materials it sources are independently verified as from sustainable sources.

The goals, which are split into four overarching areas encompassing products, operations, staff and community, highlight the demands it will be placing on its supply chain, with specific targets for water use and the prevention of deforestation. There is also an obligation on suppliers to reduce carbon emissions from Sainsbury’s own brand products by 50%.

Another of the goals states that the firm’s suppliers will be “leaders in meeting or exceeding” Sainsbury’s social and environmental standards.

The company, which is already the world’s largest fair trade retailer, also pledges to increase sales of fair trade products to £1 billion annually, and to double the amount of British food its stores sell.

Sainsbury's chief executive, Justin King, said the targets and investment were vital to ensuring the future of the company.

“If we are to meet the sustainability challenges that lie ahead, it is important that companies such as Sainsbury's invest in the future right now,” he said. “We do not see this plan as a luxury, it is rather, an essential investment that will ensure we can continue to provide customers with quality food at fair prices, sustainably."

Alongside environmental goals the firm plans to create 50,000 jobs and pledges to ensure 50% of its staff receive training.

Both the prime minister and the environment secretary welcomed the firm’s plan as a good example of sustainable development.

“It is a great example … helping to create jobs and growth while also tackling our shared social and environmental challenges,” said Cameron.

The news came just days after Sainsbury’s competitor Asda, announced that it had joined the Freight Transport Association’s Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme, in a bid to improve its environmental impacts from transport.


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