Sainsbury’s commits to science-based greenhouse gas targets

Sainsbury’s has committed to reducing scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions across its stores and supply chain by 30 per cent by 2030.

The company also has a net zero target for its scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2040, which is in line with the Paris Agreement.

According to the Carbon Trust scope 1 covers direct emissions from owned or controlled sources, scope 2 covers indirect emissions from the generation of purchased electricity, steam, heating and cooling consumed by the reporting company, while scope 3 includes all other indirect emissions that occur in a company’s value chain.

The supermarket retailer said that its science-based targets are in line with what the latest climate science says is needed to limit global warming to well below 2 °C and to pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C.

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) has approved Sainsbury’s targets.

As part of Scope 3, the company will work with selected suppliers to develop their own Scope 1 and 2 targets, and measure their performance through industry disclosures such as CDP and the Higg Index.

The retailer has already reduced its Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions by 42 per cent in the past 16 years.

As part of the supermarket’s overall strategy, it plans to improve the energy efficiency of its existing stores and depots, investing in innovative technology to ensure its fridges are as efficient as possible, reducing refrigerant gas and continuing to look at zero carbon alternatives for the delivery of goods.

Last year Sainsbury’s carried out a number of energy saving initiatives, including installing its one millionth Aerofoil in its Battersea Park Local store, keeping fridges cool and aisles warmer and saving 15 per cent of the energy used by the fridge, and becoming the first UK supermarket to switch to lithium-ion pallet trucks.

“We have a responsibility to our colleagues and the communities we serve to reduce the impact our business has on the environment and have been working hard to reduce our carbon emissions over the last 16 years,” said Simon Roberts, chief executive of Sainsbury’s. “Setting bold science-based targets across our Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions strengthens our long-standing commitment to protecting the environment and tackling climate change.

He added:“We are making significant progress on our road to net zero however we can’t get there on our own, to make a meaningful difference to climate change we need to collaborate with industry, work closely with our suppliers and engage our colleagues and customers."

“We will also ensure that our new store designs are in line with the latest thinking to minimise energy consumption,” said Roberts. “We have one opportunity to get this right, so it is really important that we continue to be ambitious and innovate.”

Hugh Jones, managing director at the Carbon Trust Advisory, said: “This is a critical year in the fight on climate change, with the UK also hosting the COP26 Climate Change Conference in November. It is vital that the business sector steps up to this challenge and it is great to see Sainsbury’s aligning to this now by engaging its supply chain and extending its net zero targets to cover the products it sells.

He concluded: "We congratulate Sainsbury’s for setting science-based targets consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C, the most ambitious goal of the Paris Agreement,"

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