Greggs targets carbon neutrality and improved diversity through new sustainability pledges

Food retailer Greggs has unveiled a new set of sustainability commitments that will see it become a carbon-neutral business, use 100% renewable energy, reduce packaging waste by a quarter and improve workforce diversity.

Greggs targets carbon neutrality and improved diversity through new sustainability pledges

A new sourcing policy will also be introduced

Greggs’ new strategy commits the company to a new set of ambitions by 2025. According to the company’s corporate website, by 2025 it will be “on its way” to achieving carbon neutrality through a commitment to using 100% renewable energy across its operations. In addition, 25% of shops will feature innovative low-carbon designs and solutions.

The company is committed to using 25% less packaging by weight against a 2019 baseline and the remaining packaging will consist of widely recycled material. Food waste is also included in the new set of commitments, with a 25% reduction compared to 2018 targeted while continuing to work towards a goal to ensure 100% of surplus food being donated or redistributed to those in need. In fact, Greggs will support 1,000 school Breakfast Clubs to provide around 70,000 free meals each school day.

A new sourcing policy will also be introduced, which Greggs will report on annually. The company has also agreed to secure and maintain Tier 1 as part of the BBFAW Animal Welfare standard.

By 2025, Greggs will also aim to have 30% of its food items consisting of healthier choices for consumers. In the same timeframe, Greggs will strive to ensure that its workforce reflects the diversity of the communities it serves.

Greggs’ chief executive Roger Whiteside said: “We are delighted to launch the Greggs Pledge, our first full sustainability plan. As a modern business, it is our duty to stand for more than just profit, and our history shows that we are doing exactly that. We have a proud reputation of giving back to our people, suppliers and communities, and we know that more can be done to change the world for the better.

“The Greggs Pledge sets out our commitments as we continue giving back to the communities that support us and take less from the environment that we all rely on. We look forward to reporting on our progress.”

Greggs is notably a signatory to the British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) net-zero roadmap for the retail sector. More than 60 businesses including Aldi, Asos, Kingfisher and Primark, have committed to a Climate Action Roadmap. The plan will help deliver a retail industry that will reach net-zero by 2040, including decarbonising stores by 2030, deliveries by 2035 and products by 2040.

2020 was a challenging year for the UK’s hospitality and retail sectors, with lockdown restrictions intermittently prohibiting dine-in options. But many major chains have still been able to launch new offerings for Veganuary 2021, following the success of Gregg’s vegan sausage rolls and steak bakes, and KFC’s Quorn burger.

Matt Mace

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