Tesco commits to 100% renewables by 2030

Tesco has pledged to deliver 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030, as the supermarket giant unveils tougher Science-Based Targets to help achieve its long-term emissions reduction plan.

The retailer has become the latest major brand to sign up to the RE100 platform, committing to expand renewable electricity across the business through a blend of grid power purchase agreements (PPAs) and on-site generation. An interim goal has been set to source 65% renewable electricity by 2020.

A Tesco blog published today (15 May) read: “As a food retailer, our supply chain and long-term business success depend on the health of the natural environment. As citizens and members of the community, our customers and colleagues expect Tesco to play its part in caring for the planet.

“So today we update our goals by publishing tougher climate change targets for our stores and distribution centres (DCs).”

Throwing down the gauntlet

Tesco has also had its goal to become a zero-carbon business by 2050 approved by the independent Science-Based Targets initiative, which aims to help businesses reduce emissions in line with the level of decarbonisation required to keep global temperature increase below 2C. Tesco joins more than 250 companies, representing almost $5trn in market value, to sign up to the scheme.

The retailer has set a target to achieve absolute emissions reductions by 60% by 2025 against a 2015 baseline. Working with suppliers, the supermarket chain aims to reduce supply chain emissions by 35% by 2030 – contributing to an overall scope 3 reduction of 17% by this date.

Commenting on the announcement, WWF’s head of climate and energy Gareth Redmond-King said: “Tesco is one of the biggest corporate emitters of greenhouse gases (GHGs) outside of energy intensive industries like steel and chemical companies.  So this is a significant commitment and one which should be embraced by Tesco’s customers and regarded with interest by their competitors. 

“Of course this announcement is not the whole story, as they’re still a huge supplier of dirty fossil fuel through their petrol stations. Nevertheless, if the UK’s biggest supermarket can make this commitment, then it throws down the gauntlet to the rest of the sector to play their part in cutting UK emissions.”

Tesco recently committed to end the sale of microbeads from its products, and earlier this year launched an online food waste ‘hotline’ to identify and prevent potential supply chain food waste.

Speaking exclusively to edie, Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis said that innovative methods of encouraging both supplier and consumer waste reduction will play a central role in helping to ensure that no surplus food will be wasted in its UK operations by the end of this year. 

George Ogleby

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