This month has seen several retailers already step up their sustainability pledges in a bid to to support initiatives that seek to make a positive change when it comes to climate change or animal welfare.
Here’s a roundup of 10 retailers that have announced new initiatives this month alone:
This week Lidl announced ambitious new climate targets that will see the discount grocer become carbon neutral by 2022.
As part of wider commitments made by its parent company Schwarz Group, Lidl said it would also aim to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from its own operations, aligned to limit global warming to 1.5°C by 2030. Lidl will also aim to reduce its emissions by 80 per cent – compared to 2019 – across all countries it operates in by 2030.
To achieve this, Lidl said it would focus on various measures to cut carbon emissions across its stores and distribution centres – such as solar panel installations, the latest refrigeration and lighting technologies to improve efficiency, or a pledge to open 350 electric vehicle charging points at its stores by 2022.
Alongside these measures, the grocer will collaborate with suppliers to establish their own climate targets and strategic plans by 2026. This will be delivered through a comprehensive supplier engagement and learning programme, and building on existing partnerships with suppliers to boost sustainability.
Burberry has sped up its sustainability targets by pledging to be “climate positive” by 2040, going further than its current target of achieving net zero carbon.
The luxury retailer said this would be done through investing in key initiatives to support wider climate change efforts beyond its immediate supply chain. It is also set to cut missions across its extended supply chain by 46 per cent by 2030 and develop projects that “support others in their own carbon journeys”.
“Burberry was built upon a desire to explore nature and the great outdoors and they have remained our inspiration for more than 150 years,” Burberry chief executive Marco Gobbetti said.
“Drawing on this heritage of exploration and driven by our creative spirit, today, we are setting a bold new ambition: to become climate positive by 2040.”
Co-op is set to launch an in-store recycling scheme for plastic bags and product wrapping in a bid to reduce plastic pollution.
The rollout follows a successful 50 store film collection trial last year which found that 86 per cent of shoppers were likely to use the service.
Once implemented, it will become the first UK supermarket to have fully recyclable food packaging.
The initiative ensures that all of Co-op’s own food packing is easily recyclable by establishing an accessible disposal route for materials which are unlikely to be collected by UK councils.
Sainsbury’s has become the first UK grocer to introduce fully electric refrigerated trucks to its delivery fleet.
The trucks will use new technology that adds charge back into the battery source by converting kinetic energy into electricity, keeping the fridges onboard at the right temperatures while reducing energy consumption.
The trailers are 100 per cent electric meaning the onboard fridges don’t emit carbon or particulate matter such as dust, dirt, soot or smoke into the air.
The new truck rollout is part of the grocer’s plan to invest £1 billion to eliminate the company’s carbon emissions and reduce its energy costs over the next 20 years.
Earlier this month Dunelm announced that it would be ditching glitter this Christmas in a bid to reduce the amount of plastic in its festive range.
The furniture and homewares retailer also pledged to completely remove plastic packaging from its baubles which, according to the company, amounts to 1.8 tonnes less plastic being used than in previous years.
Alongside these measures the retailer will also be eliminating plastic from all wrapping paper and reducing 400kg on shrink-wrap, making the range completely recyclable.
Marks & Spencer
At the beginning of this month Marks & Spencer announced plans to become the first major retailer to sell only slower-reared, higher welfare, chicken across its full range of fresh chicken products.
M&S said that from autumn next year, all fresh chicken stocked in its food stores would be slower-reared, British and RSPCA Assured. The slower-reared birds are fed on a multigrain diet, specifically designed to support their slower natural growth and muscle development, which gives the chicken a better flavour profile and more succulence.
The RSPCA has urged other retailers to follow M&S’s lead with its “landmark” commitment to welfare standards
H&M, Ikea, B&Q and Walmart
H&M, Ikea, B&Q and Walmart recently joined forces to launch a new climate change initiative to drive action on encouraging other retailers to achieve carbon reduction targets.
The Race to Zero campaign is being done in partnership with the COP26 High Level Climate Action Champions and supported by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.
H&M Group, Ikea retail holding company Ingka Group, B&Q parent company Kingfisher, and Walmart have pledged their support to accelerate a movement in the retail industry to encourage other retailers to set out their plans to achieve 1.5°C aligned carbon reduction targets.
The Race to Zero campaign states that the retail sector faced “unprecedented challenges” due to climate change, which have only been accentuated by the Covid-19 pandemic. It added that the imperative to take action to limit warming to 1.5°C “has never been higher”.