Sainsbury’s earmarks £1bn for 2040 net zero target

With Tesco having laid down the gauntlet, as reported on this site, its closest competition, Sainsbury’s, has published a bold new investment strategy a...

Marcus Lawrence
|Jan 28|magazine7 min read

With Tesco having laid down the gauntlet, as reported on this site, its closest competition, Sainsbury’s, has published a bold new investment strategy aimed at cementing sustainability into its operations and the lives of its customers. 

The firm, which holds the second largest share of the country’s market, has committed to spending £1bn over the next 20 years on initiatives aimed at bringing its operations to net zero carbon emissions. Its commitment is in line with guidelines set by the Paris Climate Agreement to limit global heating to 1.5°C.

Kindly elucidating the finer points in a press release is Mike Coupe, CEO at Sainsbury’s:  

“Our commitment has always been to help customers live well for less, but we must recognise that living well now also means living sustainably. 

“We have a duty to the communities we serve to continue to reduce the impact our business has on the environment and we are committing to reduce our own carbon emissions and become Net Zero by 2040, ten years ahead of the government’s own targets, because 2050 isn’t soon enough.

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“We have a strong heritage of reducing our carbon emissions – we have reduced them by 35% over the past fifteen years despite the footprint of our business increasing by over 40%. We invested £260mn in over 3,000 initiatives over the last decade, including the start of our LED lighting programme and refrigeration. Over the next 20 years we will invest a further £1bn in programmes that will transform the way we do business and put environmental impact at the forefront of every decision we make.”

With the grand aim of a net zero carbon impact, Sainsbury’s will spend around £20mn a year across seven key areas: reducing carbon emissions; cutting water use; managing plastics usage more effectively; redoubling its recycling initiatives; promoting healthy diets; addressing the food waste crisis; and increasing biodiversity across its operations and interests. 

For more details on the specifics of Sainsbury’s current plans, take a look at their statement here.