Tesco named top global climate change retailer

14 Sep 2011

For the second year in a row, Tesco has been named the top retailer in the world for its efforts in tackling climate change, according to the industry-renowned Carbon Disclosure Project.

For the second year in a row, Tesco has been named the top retailer in the world for its efforts in tackling climate change, according to the industry-renowned Carbon Disclosure Project.

Tesco has been making efforts to cut its carbon emissions since 2007, as part of its climate change strategy1 to become a zero carbon business by 2050. The CDP’s Global 500 report assesses the business strategy as well as action on tackling carbon, alongside the quality and completeness of its carbon management and reporting.

In addition to opening the world’s first zero-carbon supermarket, Tesco has carbon footprinted over 1000 products since 2008, currently the largest effort undertaken by any retailer.  This is part of a commitment to reduce supply chain greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent by 2020.

David North, Tesco’s UK Corporate Affairs Director, said: “I’m delighted that this year’s CDP results recognise Tesco as a global leader on tackling climate change.  By reducing our own emissions we are now saving more than £200m2 annually on energy costs.  But our strategy is about more than that.  We want to help lead a revolution in green consumption among our customers and suppliers and will ourselves be a zero-carbon business by 2050.”

Activities that helped rank Tesco the fourth overall business in the global CDP list include the addition of three more zero-carbon stores3, a zero-carbon training academy in Korea, and a new energy efficient distribution centre in China. By relocating distribution centres, reducing maximum fleet speed and introducing bigger lorries, Tesco now emits 20 per cent less carbon per case of goods delivered than in 2007.   Since the last report, Tesco’s property portfolio4 has increased while emissions have continued to fall in the UK.

In addition, more than 350 suppliers in over 10 countries have joined the retailer’s new online ‘Knowledge Hub’ - a place for suppliers to share carbon reduction experiences through a variety of seminars, discussion forums and educational visits.  Later this month, Tesco’s first set of ‘Greening the Supply Chain Awards’ will be presented, recognising suppliers making solid progress in carbon reduction. The retailer is also currently running five product3 trials to identify hotspots for carbon reduction.


Notes to Editors:

Tesco is the only UK business to appear in the top 10 of the CDP ranking.

  1. Tesco aims to become a zero carbon business by 2050 and has set targets to halve distribution emissions per case of goods delivered (against a 2006 baseline) by 2012 and to halve building emissions per sq ft (against 2006/7), by 2020. Tesco has also set targets to reduce the emissions of the products in its supply chain by 30% by 2020, and to help customers to reduce their own carbon footprints by 50% by 2020.
  2. This estimated savings figure has been calculated based on the energy and fuel costs we would have incurred in 2010/11, with the business at its current size, if we had not made any efficiency improvements in our stores or distribution operations since 2006/07.
  3. Tesco’s UK zero carbon stores are in Ramsey, Bourne and Welshpool.  There is also one in the CzechRepublic, one opening this autumn in Thailand, and more planned across the Group.
  4. Despite a 7.3% increase in floor space, Tesco’s UK carbon emissions fell 5% in absolute terms (the second year in a row it’s declined). Internationally, it’s also continued to decouple business growth from  carbon emissions:Group net sales area grew by 8.8%, whilst its carbon footprint increased only 2%.