Tesco to launch 'buying club' to help supply chain save energy

Tesco is to launch a ‘buying club’ for its suppliers to help them reduce energy use and lower carbon emissions at a cut price. The retailer made the announcement today […]

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Tesco is to launch a ‘buying club’ for its suppliers to help them reduce energy use and lower carbon emissions at a cut price.

The retailer made the announcement today at the 2degrees Live resource efficiency event in London.

Chloe Meacher, Head of Climate Change and Sustainable Sourcing at Tesco said the service would be launched on the 8th October and could save companies who supply the supermarket giant up to 25% of the cost of low carbon lighting equipment and as much as 80% on the overall cost of lighting.

Just as with the retailer’s wine buyers club for customers, the savings come from collective bargaining power as Tesco suppliers will be able to group together to buy in bulk and therefore at a discount. It has enlisted the Carbon Trust to help decide the best lighting suppliers and installers to use.

The scheme follows Tesco’s creation of a ‘knowledge hub’ for suppliers to help share lessons on reducing energy use and becoming more sustainable.

Meacher said the company had become focused on suppliers after realising the carbon footprint of products in its supply chain was 20 times higher than that of Tesco itself. It found suppliers identified cost as the biggest barrier to change.

The retailer focused solely on LED lighting for the pilot scheme but at the request of suppliers the buyers club will also cover other low carbon lighting when the full scheme is launched in several weeks.

Asked whether the buying club might expand beyond just lighting, Mrs Meacher told ELN: “We’re focused over the next 13 months on LEDs and other low carbon lighting solutions but in parallel we’ll look at what other solutions might be of interest to suppliers, build on what we’re learning and go from there.”