Members of UK retail industry body the British Retail Consortium including McDonald’s, Asda and Sainsbury’s have pledged to reduce their absolute carbon emissions from retail operations 25 percent by 2020 based on 2005 levels as part of a raft of environmental targets covering waste, transport, resource efficiency in buildings, water and refrigeration.
The other new targets are:
- Resource efficiency in buildings: Signatories will cut energy-related emissions from buildings by 50 percent by 2020, accounting for growth, compared with 2005 levels.
- Refrigeration: Signatories will reduce emissions from refrigeration gases by 80 percent by 2020, relative to floor space. They will begin phasing out HFC refrigerants by 2015 and replace them with non-HFC refrigerants, in line with the Consumer Goods Forum Commitment.
- Transport: Signatories will reduce energy-related carbon emissions from store deliveries by 45 percent by 2020, compared with 2005 levels.
- Water (retail operations): Signatories will measure water usage in sites collectively anticipated as accounting for 100 pe cent of usage by 2020. They will set a reduction target when the targets are reviewed in 2015.
- Retail waste: Signatories will divert waste from landfill so that less than 1 percent of their waste is landfilled by 2010.
In an industry first, the supermarkets that signed the initiative have also committed to publish their data on food waste created at the retail stage, along with annual progress reports. The signatories, which include all of the major UK grocery retailers, already provide data on waste in the supply chain to the resource efficiency body WRAP, and are working with customers to help reduce food waste in the home.
However, BRC says the pledge stops short of requiring supermarkets to publish their individual waste totals, telling The Grocer that figures will be reported on a sector-wide basis.
BRC member Tesco began publishing its food waste totals in October.
The new targets come as the organization’s report, A Better Retailing Climate: Driving Resource Efficiency, reveals that members exceeded all of their previous environmental targets.
Its results include:
- Waste: Exceeded target. Retailers committed to reduce waste sent to landfill to below 15 percent by 2013, with a longer term aspiration to achieve zero waste to landfill. In 2013, signatories sent 6 percent of waste direct to landfill, down from 47 percent in 2005.
- Transport: Exceeded target. Signatories committed to reduce delivery emissions by 15 percent by 2013 (compared with 2005 levels). In fact they achieved a 29 percent reduction by 2013.
- Buildings: Exceeded target. Signatories committed to cut energy-related emissions from buildings by 25 percent by 2013 (compared with 2005 levels and allowing for growth), and achieved a 30 percent reduction.
- Refrigeration: Exceeded target. Signatories committed to halve emissions from refrigeration by 2013 (relative to floor space to allow for business growth), and managed a 55 percent reduction.
- Water: Exceeded target. Signatories committed to measure water-use in sites collectively anticipated as accounting for 75 percent of water usage. In 2013, an estimated 83 percent of water usage was measured, up from 50 percent in 2005.