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Meet the people making Tesco a more sustainable company

Today is Gender Day at COP26 climate summit, where the role of women leaders in the climate agenda is celebrated. We’re celebrating the women colleagues leading our climate agenda at Tesco.

Sarah Bradbury – Group Quality Director:

As Quality Director, Sarah and her team lead Tesco’s sustainability agenda; whether that’s responsible sourcing of our products and ingredients, developing healthy and sustainable products, leading our packaging strategy or delivering our net zero climate agenda.

 What does sustainability mean to you?

For me it’s ensuring that we source responsibly to meet our needs without compromising the ability of futures generations to meet theirs. 

What motivates you to drive this agenda within Tesco?

My children. I want to leave behind me a world where they can thrive. This is such an important topic for the future of humanity and I want to play my part for Tesco by taking the opportunity to make it easy for customers to shop affordable, healthy and sustainable products every day, without them even realising it. 

What are you most proud of delivering in this space?

The bravest decision we’ve made over the last few years is to halve the environmental impact of the average shopping basket by 2030 and commit to our recent net zero climate commitments. We’re doing this for every type of product across all tiers, so regardless of budget our customers will buy sustainable, responsibly sourced products.

 Lynda Heywood – Group Treasurer:

Lynda and her team play a key role in ensuring we can finance our path to net zero. She is revolutionising the UK’s energy landscape by investing in new wind and solar farms throughout the UK to help secure Tesco’s energy needs over the next decade.

What does sustainability mean to you?

It’s a way of living that sustains life and the biodiversity of the planet by using resources thoughtfully and keeping control of the climate, with us all taking steps large and small to help tackle this global issue.

What motivates you to drive this agenda within Tesco?

Tesco has the scale and capacity to make a real difference - whether that’s procuring renewable energy for our business (which is 1% of total UK demand!), removing plastic from products (over 1 billion pieces to date), or helping customers with healthier more sustainable diets. Perhaps the biggest motivation is the impact we can have more broadly - helping suppliers become more sustainable, decarbonising agriculture, eliminating food waste, driving “green” innovation in haulage and distribution.

What are you most proud of delivering in this space?

I’m really proud that we’ve been able to link the Group’s financing to our sustainability goals - this has driven a real tangible financial benefit for us from meeting our sustainability goals, and for our suppliers too through our supply chain finance programme. It’s great that we are leading in this space and we will continue to innovate and drive further sustainability-linked financing solutions.

Anna Turrell – Head of Environment:

Anna and her team are driving our climate and sustainability agenda – including our net zero targets and our nature agenda. Her role involves working with various teams across the business and our supply chain to keep us on track.

What does sustainability mean to you?

Sustainability is about meeting the needs of today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs. As a company this means operating responsibly, transparently, and accountably for the actions we take and their consequences along our value chain.

 What motivates you to drive this agenda within Tesco?

Tesco is the UK’s biggest retailer and is recognised globally for its work in sustainability. I’m motivated to use the power of the brand to effect change both internally within the business and externally by influencing other companies to act alongside us.

What are you most proud of delivering in this space?

I’m proud of all the work our team has delivered and there are loads of great examples to choose from! But I’d have to say establishing our commitment to net zero emissions across our total footprint (scope 3 emissions) has been a particular highlight for me.

 Dr. Anna Dowson – Head of Energy:

Tesco uses a lot of energy and Anna plays an integral role in helping the business increase its energy efficiency, which represents a big opportunity to reduce our carbon emissions and save the business money. 

What does sustainability mean to you?

This means operating in a way that doesn't compromise the ability of future generations to thrive on our planet. Closer to home though, in my role it means providing a comfortable environment for our colleagues and customers using the least amount of energy, and any energy we do use is generated through renewable sources.

 What motivates you to drive this agenda within Tesco?

Driving energy consumption down reduces our carbon emissions which is better for the environment. More than that it makes business sense because it saves money and protects our customers from energy-related price rises. Protecting the environment and supporting customers - I cannot imagine a more fulfilling job!

What are you most proud of delivering in this space?

We’ve reduced our electricity demand across the estate by almost 25% since 2015 and increased our use of on-site renewable energy which now account for around 2% of our demand, through on-site solar panels, bio-generators, and wind turbines. Given our size this is a significant amount of energy!

 

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