Sainsbury’s has set a target to become a net zero business across its own operations by 2040.
It has made a commitment to invest £1 billion over the next 20 years in reaching the goal, a decade ahead of the UK Government’s target.
The supermarket said its current carbon footprint is one million tonnes – a 35% absolute reduction over the last 15 years – and it has been awarded an ‘A’ rating for tacking action on climate change by global environmental impact non-profit CDP.
Sainsbury’s will work with the Carbon Trust to assess its emissions and set science-based targets for reduction and will publicly report on its progress every six months.
It also intends to work with suppliers to set their own net zero commitments, in line with the Paris climate goals.
Mike Coupe, CEO 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, 10 years ahead of the government’s own targets, because 2050 isn’t soon enough.
“Over the next 20 years we will invest a further £1 billion in programmes that will transform the way we do business and put environmental impact at the forefront of every decision we make.”
COP26 President-Designate Claire O’Neill welcomed the news.
She said: “It’s fantastic to see Sainsbury’s committing to hitting net zero by 2040. It’s vital that big organisations recognise the responsibility they have in curbing emissions.
“Today’s announcement is an outstanding example that being green shouldn’t be a barrier to success. I hope to see other major supermarkets following their lead ahead of the COP26 UN climate conference later this year in Glasgow.”