Tesco to help customers visualise the environmental impact of their shopping

WWF UK boss Tanya Steele and Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis. Image: Andrew Parsons

The metric will track the environmental impact of 20 of Tesco’s most frequently sold own-brand items across seven issues: climate change; deforestation; sustainable diets; sustainable agriculture; marine impact; food waste and packaging waste.

Each of these impacts will be allocated a different weighting to give products an overall percentage score, with climate change given the highest (25%) weighting and packaging waste (8%) the lowest.

By early 2020, Tesco and WWF will have analysed data and produced an overall score for each of the 20 products, which include milk, eggs, fruit, vegetables, tinned tuna, snack foods and pre-prepared lines.

This information will enable the supermarket to set a date by which it believes its target of halving the impact of the average UK shopping basket can be reached. Tesco is hoping to deliver on this ambition by 2030 at the latest, by working with supply chains to combat issues such as deforestation, water mismanagement and soil degradation.

Tesco’s chief executive Dave Lewis said the firm’s work with WWF forms part of its mission to provide shoppers with “good quality, affordable food that is produced in a sustainable way”.

“Throughout our partnership, we’ll be carrying out industry-leading work to make food production more sustainable, including sourcing commodities like soy and palm oil from verified zero-deforestation areas, and improving soil health and water usage on farms in the UK,” Lewis said.  

“Working together, we can help to ensure the natural environment is protected for future generations.”

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), humanity currently uses 72% of the world’s ice-free land surface, largely for the production of food and other raw materials. This land use currently accounts for almost one-quarter of man-made emissions on an annual basis, with livestock and agriculture-related deforestation two of the key contributors.  

Tesco and WWF at edie’s Sustainability Leaders Forum

Tesco’s responsible sourcing manager Laurence Webb and WWF’s head of food commodities Emma Keller will be appearing at Day One of edie’s Sustainability Leaders Forum 2020, to provide more information on how collaboration between the organisations is delivering real-world impact.

During the two-day event at London’s Business Design Centre on 4 & 5 February 2020, some of the biggest companies, individuals and organisations championing sustainability will gather to discuss how businesses can deliver an emergency response to issues such as climate change and biodiversity loss.

The flagship, multi-award-winning event features keynotes speakers including former President of Ireland Mary Robinson; Rebecca Marmot, Unilever CSO; Gilbert Ghostine, Firmenich CEO, plus directors and senior managers from Pret-A-Manger, Interface, Vattenfall, Aviva, Pernod Ricard, LEGO Group, M&S, Diageo, Tesco, WSP, BASF, Mondelēz and more. For details and to register, visit: https://event.edie.net/forum/

Sarah George 

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