Tesco sets 2050 net-zero target for supply chain

Building on a commitment to reach net-zero operational emissions by 2035 and to cut supplier emissions by 35% within the same timeframe, Tesco ha updated its ambitions for decarbonising the supply chain.

Tesco sets 2050 net-zero target for supply chain

Pictured: One of Tesc's fully electric home delivery vans

The retail giant has today (24 September) committed to reaching net-zero emissions across the value chain, including all supply chains and the customer use of sold products. A 2050 deadline has been set for tackling these emissions, which make up more than 90% of Tesco’s total emissions footprint.

All suppliers have received a letter this week asking for their support in the transition to a low-carbon economy. The letter states that Tesco can provide assistance with the development of science-based interim targets and long-term net-zero goals. It urges suppliers to identify their emissions hotspots, such as heating, cooling and transportation.  

The move comes after Tesco published a commitment to reduce supply chain emissions by 35% by 2035, against a 2015 baseline. This happened last November, as the company brought its net-zero target for operations in the UK forward from 2050 to 2035.

Tesco Group’s chief executive Ken Murphy said: “In this critical year for tackling climate change, it’s right that we set out this ambitious commitment to cut emissions across our entire value chain. We don’t yet have all the answers and we’ll need support from our suppliers and wider society to meet our targets, but it’s vital we take action now.”

Additionally, Tesco has decided to target net-zero operational emissions by 2035 in markets other than the UK. While the UK is the retailer’s largest market, with more than 3,400 stores, Tesco Group also has a presence in 11 other countries.

Over the next 12 months, Tesco has promised, the business will set out a clear plan for achieving the new targets. UK operations have already been provided with interim decarbonisation targets, set against a 2015 baseline: delivering a 35% cut by 2020; 60% by 2025 and 85% by 2030.

Tesco is a long-term partner of NGO WWF, whose chief executive Tanya Steele said: “The scale of this welcome commitment from Tesco creates much-needed momentum as we head into COP26 – and throws down the gauntlet to other big companies to match this ambition, and to the Government to back their action through legislation to require all businesses to publish credible net-zero plans.”

Earlier this week, a report from Zurich UK and the University of the West of England (UWE) revealed that most of the UK’s largest sectors are recording either stable or increasing emissions, jeapordising the nation’s chance of meeting net-zero by 2050. Neither retail nor food and agriculture recorded a year-on-year drop in emissions, according to that research.

Moreover, research from CDP revealed that just 41% of UK-headquartered businesses with climate targets have had them verified in line with climate science. This proportion was higher than the G20 average of 20%.

Sarah George

Comments (1)

  1. Kim Warren says:

    Not good enough Tesco, and all retailers – we don’t have 30 years to fix this. Recognise the truly *huge* changes we have to make. CO2 levels already raced past 400ppm, last seen 4 million years ago when temperatures were +3 degrees and sea levels +50ft. We have to stop every possible ton of emissions right now – so [e.g.] stop selling air-freight products (3 tons CO2 per ton flown), stop selling tech-products (1/5 ton per PC) and give clear carbon labelling on every item, so shoppers can minimise the impact of what they buy – something like https://bit.ly/Clabel1

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