The Net-Zero Business podcast: Inside the Co-op’s 10-point climate action plan

In response to the accelerated pace at which businesses are examining and setting net-zero targets to help alleviate the climate crisis, edie is hosting a monthly podcast series exploring target development and delivery. This month, we speak to the Co-operative Group.

The Net-Zero Business podcast: Inside the Co-op’s 10-point climate action plan

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Following on from the UK Government’s world-leading net-zero carbon commitment, edie’s new spinoff podcast series, Net-Zero Business, hears from the trendsetters and trailblazers of responsible businesses.

Since the UK Government set its 2050 net-zero target into law, more and more businesses are attempting to get ahead of the political curve by strengthening carbon and energy strategies and pledging to become net-zero businesses well before the 2050 deadline.

But these targets often come with as many questions as they do answers. What sort of timeline should be deemed ambitious, and how does this vary in terms of business size and sector? How are businesses defining and communicating key pieces of climate jargon? And what about offsetting and insetting which come with their own web of complexities?

The Net-Zero Business podcast is a monthly digest of shorter episodes, each featuring an in-depth interview with a sustainability lead at a business that has set a net-zero target recently. 

In the latest episode, edie’s senior reporter Sarah George dials Manchester for a call with the Co-operative Group’s chief executive Steve Murrells and senior ethics and sustainability manager Barry Clavin. 

During the call, the duo provide a behind-the-scenes look at the development of the company’s 10-point climate action plan. The plan was published in May and is headlined by a commitment to reach net-zero across all scopes, for all Group activities, by 2040. 

Murrells discusses how the company has worked to embed climate action as a board-level priority and is striving to deliver a holistic response to the climate crisis. Notably, the action plan goes beyond detailing how the Co-operative Group will address its footprint in-house, outlining plans for climate resilience and adaptation, engagement with policymakers and collaboration with staff and suppliers. 

Murrells mentions his role as chair of the British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) Climate Action Roadmap steering group and the business’s support of the net-zero strategy from the National Farmers’ Union (NFU). Both of these plans also have 2040 net-zero deadlines. 

Clavin, meanwhile, is on-hand to provide a deeper dive into the delivery timeline for the Co-operative’s plans, detailing actions which have already taken place and those which will prove most challenging to deliver. He also outlines the business’s approach to defining climate jargon, ensuring credible offsetting and helping customers adopt lower-carbon diets. 

The edie podcast is available to listen to on Spotify. You can also subscribe to this podcast on iTunes and bookmark this page to see the full list of podcast episodes as they appear. 

Have a question about this podcast or a suggestion for future episodes? Email us at [email protected]. Please bear in mind that episodes are now fully booked through to the end of September.

edie Staff

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