We recognise climate change as the biggest environmental threat the world faces, and one which could pose particular challenges to a number of our supply chains. As a business, we impact the climate in both our own operations and supply chain. This includes greenhouse gas emissions from electricity, refrigeration, agriculture and transport.
In 2017 we announced our science-based climate change targets covering our operations and supply chain. We became the first big company globally to set climate change ambitions for our own operations, in line with the ambitious 1.5 degree trajectory recommended in the Paris Climate Accord. Our supply chain climate change targets are in line with a 2 degree trajectory – which is quite stretching for food and agricultural supply chains.
Our climate change commitments in our Little Helps Plan are:
- 35% absolute carbon reduction from our operations by 2020 (60% reduction by 2025, and 100% by 2050)
- Tesco suppliers to achieve a 7% absolute reduction in carbon emissions across their business by 2020 (20% reduction by 2025 and 35% by 2030 for manufacturing and 12% reduction by 2025 and 15% by 2030 for agriculture).
In 2017, we also became signatories of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) and are working to assess and mitigate any business risks as a result of a changing climate.
We are taking some specific actions, aligned to our ‘Improve, Transform, Advocate’ approach, to monitor and meet the commitments we have made.
We've invested over £700 million in energy and refrigeration efficiency in our stores and distribution centres since 2007 and achieved more than a 40% reduction in emissions per square foot of our stores and distribution centres between 2006 and 2016. Our investments in energy and refrigeration efficiency delivered an absolute reduction in our Group footprint, in spite of a significant increase in floor space. Energy efficiency is not only the responsible thing to do, it saves money too. We are continuing to invest in these areas, but recognise that we must also do more to achieve our science-based carbon reduction targets.
Our greenhouse gas (GHG) net emissions in 2019/20 totalled 2.98 million tonnes of CO2e. For further detail on our 2019/20 emissions, see our Carbon Footprint page.
In our supply chain, we are working with suppliers to measure carbon reductions and identify emissions hot spots for industry action. We also share expertise and support our suppliers to achieve efficiency improvements on farm and processing sites.
To achieve our targets, we have committed to source or generate 100% of our electricity from renewable sources by 2030 and are part of the RE100 business campaign for renewable electricity. In the UK, ROI, Hungary and Slovakia, we have already switched to 100% renewable electricity, supported by renewable certificates. We have also started installing solar panels on our stores and wind turbines at our depots, and by 2030, we aim for over 50% of our electricity to come from a combination of this on-site generation and power purchase agreements. This commitment will directly increase national renewable electricity capacity as well as further stimulate the renewable electricity market through our demand.
Many of our suppliers are also switching to renewable electricity, thereby reducing emissions from our manufacturing supply chain. We also offer advice to suppliers who need help in developing their own renewables plan.
Addressing climate change requires cross-industry action and supportive public policy. We engage with our peers as well as policy makers through our membership of various cross-industry forums, including the Aldersgate Group, The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group and RE100. Through these and other forums, we also share our climate change approach and learnings – including setting ambitious science-based climate change targets on a 1.5 degree trajectory, switching to renewable electricity and driving sustainability innovation in our supply chain. These pre-competitive forums offer us the opportunity to learn and inspire others to raise our collective ambitions in the transition to a low-carbon economy.