UK retailers halve carbon emissions

11th May 2021

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  • Business & Industry ,
  • Retail and wholesale


Jay Mistry

The UK's leading retailers have slashed their emissions by 49% since 2005, far exceeding a target to deliver a 25% reduction, data from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has revealed.

Covering one-quarter of the retail sector by turnover, the figures also show that emissions in stores and from store deliveries have fallen by 46% and 84% respectively, when controlled for growth.

BRC members have committed to achieve net zero by 2040, and the consortium has recently commissioned research under its Climate Action Roadmap to help the industry decarbonise further.

“It’s a fantastic achievement to have halved greenhouse gases from our stores and lorries in little over a decade,” said Peter Andrews, head of sustainability at the BRC.

“However, we recognise we can do much more by helping drive decarbonisation across our supply chains and supporting our customers, the British public, to live lower carbon lifestyles through the products they buy.

“Our Climate Action Roadmap sets out our path to net zero operations and supply chains by 2040.”

The BRC also announced that Steve Murrells, Co-op Group CEO, will chair the steering group of the Climate Action Roadmap that aims to drive forward its targets.

The steering group includes CEOs and senior executives of some of the country’s best-known retailers, including Sainsbury’s, Iceland, IKEA, Mountain Warehouse, Dunelm and Feelunique and will establish and oversee the strategy and progress in hitting the net-zero target.

This work is supported by five partnerships – one for each focus area of the roadmap – with Crown Estate, DP World, Google, IBM and PwC.

Murrells said: “The global response to the pandemic has shown us what we can achieve when the need is great and urgent enough.

“The required levels of co-operation needed to tackle climate change are unprecedented and the BRC Roadmap will help unify UK retailers around a common purpose.”


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