// Sainsbury’s is cutting five years from its target to become Net Zero ahead of Cop26 summit
// By the end of the year, the retailer will be using 100% renewable electricity across its estate
Sainsbury’s has issued a fresh commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2035 – five years earlier than it originally planned.
The supermarket giant’s pledge comes less than a week before world leaders gather in Glasgow to discuss the climate emergency at the COP26 summit.
The commitment will see Sainsbury’s business and operations become net zero by 2035, in line with the goal to limit global warming to 1.5°C, the highest ambition of the Paris Climate Change Agreement.
The supermarket has cut its carbon footprint by 47 per cent in the last 17 years despite its space increasing by over 40 per cent.
In the last year, Sainsbury’s has reduced its absolute greenhouse gas emissions from its own operations by 25,580 tCO2e, year-on-year.
Simon Roberts, chief executive of Sainsbury’s chief executive Simon Roberts said: “The clock is ticking. Climate targets matter – but action to deliver them matters more. The progress we’ve made has enabled us to accelerate our own targets and move faster to cut our emissions,”
“We recognise that we not only have a responsibility to our colleagues and the communities we serve in the UK, but to those we source from globally, to reduce the impact our business has on the environment.
“The United Nations report made clear that we all need to step up our efforts and be ambitious in our pursuits to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.”
To help achieve its target, Sainsbury’s will install 100 per cent LED lighting across its supermarkets by the end of this year, by which time it will also be using 100 per cent renewable electricity across its entire estate.
In addition to this, the retailer has committed to the long-term purchasing of renewable energy from new wind farms and solar projects to be built over the next two years.
As a retailer sourcing over 30,000 products from over 70 countries Sainsbury’s is also working collaboratively with its suppliers to set their own ambitious net zero commitments, with the goal of reducing Scope 3 emissions in its value chain by 30 per cent by 2030.
This includes reducing emissions from purchased goods and services sold, upstream transport and distribution and the direct use of sold products.
This year Sainsbury’s has written to 400 of its top suppliers asking them to report and disclose against their carbon reduction targets.
COP26 President-Designate, Alok Sharma said: “With the COP26 climate summit starting in a few days, I am delighted that our Principal Partner, Sainsbury’s, will be going net zero by 2035. This is a great example of the climate leadership we need across all sectors as we work together to keep 1.5 degrees within reach.”