Tesco has pledged to source 100 per cent of its electricity requirements from renewable sources by 2030.
The UK’s largest food retailer said it has created new carbon reduction targets to help combat climate change, adding that its supply chain and long-term business success “depends on the health of the natural environment”.
As well as internal emissions targets and the switch to renewables, Tesco will also encourage its suppliers to set targets of reducing carbon emissions by seven per cent by 2020, and by 35 per cent by 2030.
Tesco said it will support suppliers in these reduction targets through a new renewable energy buying club, as well as education and collaboration.
Head of climate change and sustainable agriculture, Kené Umeasiegbu, said: “We aim to expand our renewable electricity mix across the group to include over 50 per cent from grid power purchase agreements (PPAs) and on-site generation by 2030. This plan balances price stability, cost-effectiveness and support for creating additional renewable capacity.”
Emissions from Tesco stores and distribution centres account for over 85 per cent of the retailer’s direct carbon footprint, Umeasiegbu said, prompting major investment in efficient refrigeration, as well as renewable energy.
Efficiency improvements since 2007 have cut Tesco’s electricity bill by £200 million a year, he added.
“Our 50 per cent 'relative' carbon reduction target translates into 10 per cent 'absolute' reduction by 2020. This means we're on track to emit 10 per cent less carbon from our estate in 2020 than we did in 2006.
“We are very proud of this achievement and will continue to invest in energy and refrigeration efficiency. Yet, we recognise that this pace of decarbonisation does not put us on track to becoming a zero-carbon business by 2050. So today we publish tougher targets to help Tesco contribute to limiting global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees.”
Following the Paris Climate Agreement, Tesco set new targets to align with a 1.5 degree temperature trajectory, with the aim of meeting its zero-carbon ambition.
“To achieve these tougher targets, we aim to source 100 per cent of our electricity from renewable sources by 2030. Our interim milestone is to source 65 per cent renewable electricity by 2020,” Umeasiegbu added. “Our commitment demonstrates our support for the Paris Climate Agreement and UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. These international agreements represent the strongest hope that we can avoid dangerous climate change and create a sustainable future.”