UK retailers almost half carbon emissions since 2005

UK retailers have cut their carbon emissions 49 per cent since 2005, exceeding their target of 25 per cent, according to statistics released by the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

The BRC’s research found that carbon emissions fell 46 per cent in-store and 84 per cent for store deliveries, when adjusted for growth.

The BRC also announced its new Climate Action Roadmap group, which aims to steer the retail industry and its supply chains to net zero carbon emissions by 2040.

Co-op chief executive Steve Murrells is set to chair the new organisation.

Other members of the group include Sainsbury’s, Iceland, Ikea, Mountain Warehouse, Dunelm, and Feelunique.

The participating retailers have pledged to make their stores net-zero by 2030 and their deliveries net-zero by 2035.

Co-op recently removed plastic “Bags for Life” from all its supermarkets, as part of a wider sustainability drive.

“Global society is facing a monumental climate crisis, entirely of its own making,” said Murrells. “We must all recognise that we are in part responsible and that we all have to do more to foster change and do it more quickly.”

“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.”

“Building on our own climate commitments to get to net zero by 2040 at the latest, I’m honoured to be leading the Climate Action Roadmap steering group to help bring about bold and collective action across our industry and play a part in making things fairer for our planet.”

He added: “It’s also a matter of pride that it’s the UK retail sector that is going first and leading the world with this type of collaboration.”

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

“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.”

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

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