A roundabout

UN Sustainable Development Goals

Helping to Support the SDGs

Our Little Helps Plan has been developed to demonstrate and report against the action we take to advance broader environmental and social goals, such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In the table below we have outlined how our work supports and aligns with these goals.


No poverty

End poverty in all its forms everywhere

We are helping address entrenched social issues within supply chains such as the low wages and the empowerment of workers. We work with a number of organisations including the Ethical Trading Initiative, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, and the Consumer Goods Forum.

We were the first UK retailer to join the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative. We are working with suppliers and expert NGOs to roll out approaches, such as the Cool Farm Tool, to measure impact and drive improvements.


Zero hunger

End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

By linking our stores to local charities and community groups we are redistributing food to those in need. Organisations we have supported have included homeless shelters, after-school clubs, food banks and domestic violence hostels.


Good Health and Well-Being

Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

We want to make it easier for colleagues and customers to eat well and lead a healthier life by offering a range of Little Helps. This means simple, realistic and practical actions to help colleagues and customers make sustainable changes. In May 2017, we held our first ever health event for colleagues and customers. For colleagues this included: free fruit and mental health awareness training. For customers it included ‘Helpful Little Swaps’ in stores and online, highlighting products lower in sugar, fat or salt compared to the regular alternatives, and lower prices on over 200 healthier products.


Quality Education

Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

Everyone is Welcome at Tesco. An inclusive workplace is one where everyone feels that they can be themselves and the talents and skills of different people are the thing that’s most valued. We will continue to invest in training for our colleagues so they have the opportunity to ‘get on’ both at work and at home.


Gender Equality

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

The Women in Tesco network champions gender diversity and promotes a culture of diverse and inclusive thinking, where women feel confident to share their views.

Through our partnership with Unicef and the Ethical Tea Partnership, we are helping equip girls in tea communities in Assam with the knowledge and life skills that will help them secure a better future.


Clean water and sanitation

Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

We are mapping our key supply chains to understand their exposure to water risk, and how they overlap with key environmentally-sensitive river basins. We are piloting measures to reduce water use and local environmental impact.


Affordable and clean energy

Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

We have developed a roadmap and targets to source 65% of our electricity from renewable sources by 2020 and 100% by 2030. In 2017 we switched to 100% renewable energy in the UK, supported by renewable energy certificates.


Decent work and economic growth

Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

We believe our trade is a force for good, creating opportunities for people and communities across the world. But it is important that clear standards are upheld around issues such as: working hours, health and safety, freedom of association and ensuring that discrimination does not take place. Over the past two years we have put in place a due diligence processes to ensure that we are identifying and then focusing our resource in areas of highest labour standard risk, wherever this is in the supply chain. 

In our own operations, we are introducing new measures to provide colleagues with greater flexibility and to manage their own work patterns around their lifestyles.


Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

We have a number of initiatives across the Group to make our stores and operations more efficient and reduce our impact on the environment. One of these initiatives is our commitment to switch the refrigerant gas used in 1,200 of our UK stores to a lower Global Warming Potential (GWP) gas.


Reduced inequalities

Reduce inequality within and among countries

We are committed to upholding human rights and fully support the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labour Organization Core Conventions and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights within our own operations and supply chains internationally.


Sustainable cities and communities

Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

We believe in acting locally to make a real difference to the issues that matter to our customers and colleagues. Our stores are often neighbourhood hubs for local people to meet and local activities to take place. In the UK, Republic of Ireland and Central Europe we have already distributed over £39 million and supported more than 18,000 community projects to date.


Responsible consumption and production

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

We are proud members of Champions 12.3, a coalition of leaders chaired by our CEO Dave Lewis. This group is dedicated to accelerating progress towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Target 12.3 - to halve global food waste by 2030.


Climate action

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Following the Paris Climate Agreement, we worked with external experts to set new, science-based targets which are aligned with a 1.5 degree trajectory and enable us to meet our zero-carbon ambition. In May 2017, we announced new tougher science-based carbon reduction targets for stores and distribution centres to help combat climate change. In our supply chain, we'll encourage suppliers to set credible science-based targets on a 2-degree trajectory or alternatively achieve 'absolute' reductions, based on 2015 levels.


Life below water

Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

We now source over 120 MSC eco-labelled products in the UK, up from only 16 just 18 months ago, and our fish counters were awarded MSC Fish Counter of the Year this year for having the largest range of certified sustainable seafood.


Life on land

Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

A key commitment is to achieve zero net deforestation in our supply chain by 2020. 100% of palm oil in our UK own-label products already comes from sources certified to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil standards. By continuing to work with key stakeholders, including product partners, palm oil traders, the Consumer Goods Forum and RSPO, we are committed to ensuring that our palm oil comes from sustainable, deforestation-free sources by 2020.


Peace, justice and strong institutions

Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

We are committed to upholding human rights within our own operations and supply chains internationally. We are helping address entrenched social issues within our supply chains such as low wages, freedom of association, and the empowerment of workers.


Partnerships for the goals

Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

To make a difference for our colleagues, customers and communities we have outlined our priorities in the Little Helps Plan. Yet, we can’t make progress alone and partnerships run throughout all our work. Only by listening to and working with stakeholders and experts can we understand how Tesco can make the biggest difference.

We really value your views and they will help us as we continue to build on the Little Helps Plan and implement our actions.

Please get in touch with your feedback and thoughts, or if you have a questions, by emailing: cr.enquiries@uk.tesco.com