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Securing a COP26 legacy for Glasgow

Jason Tarry
Jason Tarry
CEO, UK & ROI

Climate change is the single biggest environmental threat we face today. It’s an issue that affects us all now and how we respond will affect future generations.

It is why world leaders have spent the last two weeks in Glasgow at the COP26 global climate summit seeking to accelerate action against climate change; described as the world’s last best chance to get climate change under control.

 It’s also why protecting our planet is a priority for our business, making up the final pillar of our new purpose – Serving our customers, communities and planet a little better every day.

As the conference comes to a close, we all must look ahead at how we will ensure COP26 in Glasgow has a lasting positive impact.

 At Tesco this means delivering lasting change in our own operations, throughout our supply chains and through customers.

In September we committed to ambitious targets to be net zero in our own operations across the Group by 2035 and across our total footprint by 2050. Achieving this won’t be easy but we must do it, and we’re making significant investments across the UK, including in Scotland, to reduce our impact on the environment.

In our own operations all our stores currently use 100% renewable electricity. We want to increase the amount of renewable electricity we secure direct from source, which is why, we’ve partnered with energy companies to invest in five new wind farms in Scotland and four new solar farms throughout the UK. We’re also encouraging our suppliers and customers to switch to renewable electricity as well.

Today is Transport day at COP26, and with transport being one of the biggest sources of emissions we’re taking emissions off the road in both our operations and for our customers.

Firstly, we’re increasing the use of rail to transport goods from Spain to the UK. We’ve used rail freight since 2008 to transport goods efficiently and in a more environmentally friendly way, with five trains per week carrying fresh produce for Tesco customers from Spain to England. By the end of this year a new rail service will run direct from Spain to Scotland as the business expands its use of rail from 65,000 containers to around 90,000 by the end of this year.

Secondly, we want to make shopping with Tesco as sustainable as possible for our customers. By 2028 all 5,500 Tesco home delivery vans will be electric, equivalent to taking 54,000 cars off the road every day. I’m delighted that the host city Glasgow is the first Scottish city to transition to an electric Tesco delivery fleet, with the introduction of 17 electric vans that will make over 3,700 deliveries per week covering nearly 8,000 miles without producing any emissions.

We also want to cover the last mile along the food journey, and by the end of next year we will have installed 2,400 electric vehicle charging points at 600 stores as part of the UK’s largest retail charging network, including 72 stores in Scotland.

Securing a legacy for COP26 in Glasgow is about delivering transformational and lasting change. This will only be achieved through a collective effort and Tesco will continue to work with colleagues, customers, and suppliers towards a better future for our planet.

You can learn more about COP26, or see our Green Trip to Glasgow road trip series, here.

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