‘Retail will lead the way’ as 20 major companies join forces to create shared decarbonisation plan

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TODAY twenty major retailers, including Morrisons, Boots and Costa Coffee, have signed a declaration to develop a roadmap to tackle the causes of climate change.

Led by the British Retail Consortium, the declaration commissions the creation of a roadmap that will provide retailers with the guidance and support necessary to decarbonise.

Peter Andrews, Head of Sustainability Policy at the British Retail Consortium, commented: “Climate change remains one of the biggest threats to the planet.

“As we start to recover from the coronavirus pandemic there is no better opportunity to build a greener, more sustainable world.

“The expectations of society are shifting rapidly. Greater action from businesses is expected. Retail will lead the way.

“Retailers, suppliers and customers all have their part to play in reducing their carbon emissions.

“This roadmap will be the first step towards a better, more sustainable future. It will then be up to wider industry and Government to implement the recommendations it set out.”

Not only are they committed to cutting carbon emissions associated with their shops, distribution centres and logistics, but also, and most importantly, their supply chains and the products people are buying every day.

The research will be conducted by environmental experts and published in the form of a roadmap, along with a wider industry commitment, in the run up to COP26.

The work will build upon the Better Retail Better World campaign whereby retailers reduced their carbon emissions from operations by over one third since 2005.

The open letter states: “We, signatories of the British Retail Consortium’s Climate Statement, believe that climate change is one of the greatest threats to our society and planet.

“Our industry is the largest private sector employer in the UK, our customer base is 67 million people strong, and our supply chains support livelihoods for millions around the world.

“We are already seeing the impact of weather extremes on each of these stakeholders.

“Collectively we have a key part to play in tackling climate change.

“This view is supported by our customer base across the UK, whether they are shopping for bread or books, t-shirts or TVs, sheds or shampoo, or simply buying a cup of coffee.

“This is why we are coming together through the British Retail Consortium to develop a ground-breaking decarbonisation plan that will guide the industry on the steps necessary to accelerate progress towards a Net Zero UK, ahead of the Government’s 2050 target.

“We recognise that as retailers we are uniquely placed to support the UK’s journey to a low
carbon future.

“That is why we are focusing our efforts on three key groups.

“Firstly, we commit to driving forward decarbonisation in our shops, distribution centres and logistics operations, building upon our work over the last decade.

“Second, we commit to driving down emissions in our supply chains.

“And finally, we will help to guide our customers towards dramatically lowering their own carbon footprint, while continuing to deliver an outstanding retail experience. “