The CDP’s FTSE 350 report assesses a company’s business strategy as well as action on tackling carbon, alongside the quality and completeness of its carbon management and reporting.

This year Tesco has achieved the highest ever disclosure score (97) of a FTSE 350 company and is the only company to be ranked two years running in the CDP’s Performance Leadership Index – rewarding comprehensiveness of climate change strategy.

Tesco has been making efforts to cut its carbon emissions since 2007, as part of its corporate strategy to become a global zero carbon business by 2050 and has sent zero waste to landfill since 2010.

In addition to opening the world’s first zero carbon supermarket, Tesco has carbon footprinted over 1,000 products since 2008, currently the largest effort undertaken by any retailer. This is part of a commitment to reduce supply chain greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2020.

Logistics have been made more efficient – by double-decking truck trailers, packing goods more efficiently, relocating distribution centres and diverting freight from road to rail, the CO2 equivalent produced by each case delivered has been cut from 199g to 146g since 2005.

Activities that helped rank Tesco the best overall business included introducing a new low carbon distribution centre in Daventry, installing giant distribution centre wind turbines to reduce emissions, reducing maximum fleet speed, introducing bigger lorries and installing energy monitoring boards in stores.

In addition, more than 350 suppliers in over 10 countries have joined the retailer’s new online ‘knowledge hub’ – a place for suppliers to share carbon reduction experiences through a variety of seminars, discussion forums and educational visits.

Tesco’s first set of ‘Greening the Supply Chain Awards’ were presented at the end of September, recognising suppliers making solid progress in carbon reduction. The retailer is also currently running five product trials to identify hotspots for carbon reduction.

Tesco’s UK corporate affairs director David North said: “We are on track to become a zero carbon business and our low-carbon investment is already saving us £150m a year.”

Maxine Perella

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