Sainsbury’s aims to become carbon neutral by 2040

Date of publication: 30.01.2020

Sainsbury’s has committed to invest £1bn over 20 years in a bid to become a Net Zero business by 2040.

The retailer’s current carbon footprint is one million tonnes, which is a 35% absolute reduction in the last 15 years, despite its space increasing by 46% over the same time frame.

Sainsbury’s will use the £1bn investment to implement a programme of changes, with a focus on: reducing carbon emissions, food waste, plastic packaging and water usage and increasing recycling, biodiversity and healthy and sustainable eating.

The supermarket giant will work with the Carbon Trust to assess emissions and set science-based targets for reduction, publicly reporting on progress every six months.

In addition, Sainsbury’s will work with suppliers to set their own ambitious Net Zero commitments, in line with the Paris Agreement goals.

Mike Coupe, chief executive of Sainsbury’s, said: “Our commitment has always been to help customers live well for less, but we must recognise that living well now also means living sustainably".

“We have a duty to the communities we serve to continue to reduce the impact our business has on the environment and we are committing to reduce our own carbon emissions and become Net Zero by 2040, ten years ahead of the government’s own targets, because 2050 isn’t soon enough.”

In response Hugh Jones, managing director of advisory services of the Carbon Trust, said: “The Carbon Trust has worked with Sainsbury’s to set science-based targets for its own operations and is now working to extend these targets to the value chain. Sainsbury’s goal to get to Net Zero by 2040 is ambitious and will help raise the bar for the sector.”

Friends of the Earth’s head of policy, Mike Childs, added: “It’s encouraging to see Sainsbury’s stepping up to the plate on the climate emergency – the rapid transition to a net zero economy is urgently required".

“Supermarkets have a huge influence on our personal carbon footprints, so the more they can do to embrace and encourage greener lifestyles the better for us all.”