Sainsbury’s boss in carbon conflict with Barker

Sainsbury’s Chief Executive Justin King has come in to conflict with Energy Minister Greg Barker over plans for businesses to report on their carbon emissions. The pair were panelists at […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Sainsbury’s Chief Executive Justin King has come in to conflict with Energy Minister Greg Barker over plans for businesses to report on their carbon emissions.

The pair were panelists at the Growing Without Carbon debate organised by the supermarket chain in London this week.

New government proposals under discussion would make it compulsory for businesses to report on their whole supply chain, with a league rating companies’ efforts also on the table.

Asked if the supermarket agreed with the plans, Mr King said: “We generally don’t. For the simple reason that everyone starts looking at the score rather than trying to hit the ball.

“Legislation and mandatory reporting is sometimes right, but usually in businesses that are not consumer facing so they don’t have that pressure on them. But in the consumer facing businesses I would quite wary of them.”

The Energy Minister acknowledged the fears of some businesses, but countered: “There is a big concern about imposing anything that could be deemed an extra burden on business when the absolute imperative is returning country to growth. But equally a false choice to think that anything other than embedding green growth in the country is good for Great Britain.”