World Environment Day - 5 June
2 Jun 2014
Without concerted action, climate change will have a critical impact on the way we all live - adversely affecting ecosystems and creating a growing number of extreme weather events. It also has the potential to severely affect our business, for example by disrupting agricultural supply chains and pushing up energy prices.
5 June marks World Environment Day and provides an opportunity to focus the world’s attention on what we can all do to protect the environment. The UN has designated 2014 as the International Year of Small Island Developing States. These islands are facing growing risks and vulnerabilities, driven by climate change – the focus of this year’s World Environment Day.
We are committed to playing our part and want to become a zero-carbon business by 2050. To achieve that ambitious goal we have two medium-term carbon targets:
- To reduce the carbon emissions per square foot of our stores and distribution centres across the Group against a 2006/7 baseline by 50% by 2020
- To reduce the carbon emissions per case of good delivered across the Group against a 2011/12 baseline by 25% by 2020
This year we have achieved our annual goals for both targets, for example by improving the energy efficiency of our stores and distribution centres, reducing the leakage of refrigerant gases and continuing to pioneer the use of natural refrigeration.
We have also invested in a new freight fleet in Malaysia, reducing the number of trips we make by over 8,000 per year. We have also opened new regional distribution centres in Thailand so that we can transport products to our customers more efficiently. For example, our Khon Kaen distribution centre alone is reducing the distance our trucks travel by 400,000km each week.
In addition to reducing the carbon impact of our operations, we are committed to working with suppliers to do the same for the products we sell. We have conducted a hotspots analysis to identify the total carbon footprint of our products. We are now able to see which of our product categories and lifecycle stages have the highest carbon intensity. This has enabled us to focus our work on the areas of highest carbon intensity, for example agriculture and manufacturing.
Our ambition to lead in reducing food waste globally also supports our environmental work. By reducing food waste we will relieve unnecessary pressure on natural resources and reduce the associated emission of greenhouse gases. You can find out more about what we’re doing to reduce food waste here and what we’re doing to reduce our impact on the environment here.