Tesco has launched a new climate change “manifesto” ahead of this year’s COP26 Summit in Glasgow.
The retailer has identified five key areas where it believes it can make the most difference - namely, cutting absolute emissions from energy, supporting the UK’s transition to electric transport, tackling food waste, supporting the sustainable production of food, and helping customers eat healthy, sustainable diets.
Tesco chief executive Ken Murphy, speaking at The Grocer Conference, stressed the need for both efficiency improvements and cutting-edge innovation if the retailer, and the wider food industry, is to meet its climate change targets. In 2017, Tesco committed to science-based climate targets on a 1.5-degree trajectory and aims to reach its net-zero climate target in the UK by 2035, 15 years earlier than originally planned.
Through a combination of efficiency improvements and a switch to low-carbon innovation, Tesco pointed out that it delivered a 50 per cent absolute emissions reduction last year on a 2015 baseline, beating its 2020 science-based target of 35 per cent.
Murphy has now called on the whole of the food industry to play its part to deliver against the UK’s climate ambitions.
“In this critical decade for tackling climate change, it’s vital we challenge ourselves to be more ambitious in our aims and accelerate progress against them," he said.
"At Tesco, we’re playing our part by creating a better basket for our customers and the planet. No one business can tackle these challenges alone. We must take collective action as a food industry to drive the transformational changes necessary to meet the UK’s climate commitments.”