Lidl commits to carbon neutrality by 2022
Lidl GB has announced plans to become a carbon-neutral business by 2022 alongside wider commitments to reduce operational emissions and encouraging key suppliers to set their own climate commitments.
Lidl GB announced that it would become carbon neutral by 2022 as part of wider commitments made by parent organisation the Schwarz Group. Lidl will aim to reduce operational and power-related emissions in line with the 1.5C pathway in order to achieve carbon neutrality.
By 2030, Lidl will reduce its operational emissions by 80% compared to 2019 levels across all countries that it operates in.
The retailer will focus on cutting carbon emissions from stores and distribution centres by focusing on onsite solar installations at new stores and investments into low-carbon refrigeration and lighting technologies.
Additionally, Lidl will continue to build towards a commitment to operating 250 electric vehicle (EV) charging points by 2022. The company introduced its 100th charging point at its stores earlier this year.
Lidl will also aim to tackle Scope 3 emissions, which represent more than 98% of the company’s overall emissions. The retailer will oblige suppliers that make up 75% of product-related scope 3 emissions to set their own climate targets in line with the recommendations of the Science Based Targets initiative. Suppliers have until 2026 to introduce these targets.
Lidl GB’s chief executive Christian Härtnagel said: “With the UK hosting COP26 in November, this is a crucial year in the fight against climate change and we recognise our responsibility to reduce our emissions to help tackle this important issue.
“As part of the Schwarz Group, Lidl has a presence in 32 countries around the world and more than 310,000 employees globally. We’re therefore one of Europe’s largest retail businesses and through these ambitious targets we hope to make a significant contribution by not only rapidly decarbonising our own operations but also supporting our suppliers to do the same.
“As a discounter, it is ingrained in us to be constantly looking to maximise efficiency and reduce waste. Whether it’s how we heat and light our stores, or how we transport food from our suppliers to our warehouses, we are continuing to find ways to cut emissions across our business.”
Earlier this year, Lidl announced that it would sell carbon-neutral cheddar cheese.
The cheddar will come from supplier brand Wyke Farms, with the certification initially set to cover Lidl Deluxe Cheddar products before being rolled out to other lines.
Lidl has said it will work with Wyke Farms and its network of farmers to support them to adopt more sustainable practices on farms, enabling them to make energy, water and resource use more efficient while supporting carbon sequestration. Key focus areas will be feed management, soil and land management, manure management, herd management and energy management. These measures should reduce annual emissions by 22.5 million kilograms of CO2e.
The remaining emissions will be addressed with the purchase of “gold standard” carbon credits. Lidl GB is working with The Carbon Trust to verify both the carbon credits and the on-farm reductions.
Lidl GB’s head of responsible sourcing and ethical trade Amali Bunter – also a member of edie’s 30 under 30 – said the partnership will help to “future-proof British farming”.
Lidl has also committed to banning peat from its compost range from 2022 – two years ahead of a Government target.
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Like all retailers, the biggest thing Lidl can do is add clear, bold emissions-labelling to all their goods so consumers can avoid buying high-C products … and sell no air-freighted goods at all.