The supermarket chain has teamed up with Current, powered by GE, to install approximately 250,000 LED lighting in more than 450 of its stores by 2020.

The upgrade is expected to cut Sainsbury’s energy consumption by 58%, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 3.4% annually.

Sainsbury’s has a commitment to reduce absolute carbon emissions by 30% by 2020 compared with 2005 baseline levels. To date, it has cut absolute carbon emissions by more than 20%, and says it is on track to achieve its 2020 target.

The group’s head of sustainability, energy, engineering and environment Paul Crewe said switching to LED lighting is a “big step in the right direction” to achieving its sustainability goals.

“We’ve almost halved the carbon emissions of our stores since 2005, and in the last 12 months reduced our electricity use by 11.6% despite growing our operation by 54.2%,” he said. “This step will enable us to make significant reductions in carbon emissions.

“Our customers expect us to do the right thing on their behalf, and they can be reassured that, day or night, when they visit a Sainsbury’s supermarket, we’ve made a significant in-road into creating a greener supermarket for them.”

Last year, M&S made a similar commitment to fit out its entire UK estate with LED lighting by 2025. The group said at the time that setting “uncomfortable targets” has become essential for M&S to make its stores and office buildings more sustainable.

UK businesses have been urged to ramp up efforts to reduce carbon emissions after research found that organisations involved in the Government’s Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) energy efficiency scheme emitted more than 41 million tonnes of carbon dioxide during the 2015/16 compliance year.

In 2015, the British Retail Consortium claimed that the UK retail industry could save up to £4.1bn in cumulative energy and carbon costs by reducing its combined energy consumption 25% by 2050. And figures from the Consortium’s latest ‘A Better Climate Initiative’ report revealed that carbon emissions from UK retail stores had reduced by, on average, 35% from 2005-2016.

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie