Sainsbury's aims for net zero by 2040

Sainsbury’s has pledged to reduce its net carbon emissions to zero over the next 20 years.

The supermarket chain has committed to investing £1bn over twenty years towards becoming a Net Zero business across its own operations by 2040, aligned to the highest ambitions of the Paris Climate Change Agreement and a decade ahead of the UK Government’s own target.

1,400 Sainsbury’s stores have been fitted with aerofoil technology, keeping fridges cool and aisles warmer and saving 15 per cent of the energy used by the fridge. 17,547 tonnes of CO2 were saved through colleague behavioural change project

The retailer will increase its use of renewable energy, while reducing overall energy usage. Fridges will be made as efficient as possible through the use of innovative technology and increasing the use of natural refrigerants– as well as increasing the percentage of its fleet using alternative zero and low carbon fuels to 20 per cent by 2025. By the end of 2022 all Sainsbury’s stores will be 100 per cent lit by LEDs.

Sainsbury’s will minimise the use of water in its own operations, driving towards water neutral by 2040. As the first retailer to be certified with the Carbon Trust Water Standard, Sainsbury’s uses 1bn litres less water annually than in 2005. 170 stores are fitted with rainwater harvesting facilities and these are fitted as standard in new stores.

Sainsbury’s will also review every aspect of water use in its business, measuring and lowering the amount of water used in bathrooms and will look to recycle water from areas such as ice on fish counters and carwashes.

Mike Coupe, CEO of Sainsbury’s, said: “We have a strong heritage of reducing our carbon emissions – we have reduced them by 35 per cent over the past fifteen years despite the footprint of our business increasing by over 40 per cent. We invested £260m in over 3,000 initiatives over the last decade, including the start of our LED lighting programme and refrigeration. Over the next 20 years we will invest a further £1bn in programmes that will transform the way we do business and put environmental impact at the forefront of every decision we make.

The retailer’s current carbon footprint is 1m tonnes, which is a 35 per cent absolute reduction in the last 15 years despite its space increasing by 46 per cent over the same time frame. For the last six years Sainsbury’s has been awarded an A rating for taking action on Climate Change by the CDP, the highest rating of any UK supermarket.

Among other measures in the £1bn investment will a focus on reducing food waste, plastic packaging and water usage and increasing recycling, biodiversity and healthy and sustainable eating.

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