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Retailers almost halve carbon reduction targets

The data showed that carbon emissions fell by 49% since 2005, exceeding the original target of a 25% absolute reduction

UK Retailers have almost halved their 2020 carbon reduction targets according to the latest data from the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

The data showed that carbon emissions fell by 49% since 2005, exceeding the original target of a 25% absolute reduction.

These targets form part of the BRC’s climate action roadmap whereby over 70 retailers have pledged to help the UK retail industry and its supply chain reach net zero by 2040.

The BRC also announced that Steve Murrells, Co-op group CEO, will chair the roadmap committee that aims to drive forward these targets.

The committee includes CEOs and senior executives of some of retailers, including Sainsbury’s, Iceland, IKEA, Mountain Warehouse, Dunelm and Feelunique and will establish and oversee the strategy and progress in getting the UK retail industry to net zero by 2040.

The roadmap will focus on the key challenge of working with suppliers to ensure that products sold are also net zero by 2040. However, the latest data showed that while carbon emissions from transport fell 43% when controlled for growth, just off the 45% target, absolute emissions fell by just 15%.

Peter Andrews, head of sustainability at the British Retail Consortium, said: “It’s a fantastic achievement to have halved greenhouse gases from our stores and lorries in little over a decade.

“However, we recognise we can do much more by helping drive decarbonisation across our supply chains and supporting our customers, the British public, to live lower carbon lifestyles through the products they buy.”

Steve Murrells, group CEO, Co-op, added: “The required levels of cooperation needed to tackle climate change are unprecedented and the BRC Roadmap will help unify UK retailers around a common purpose.

“Building on our own climate commitments to get to net zero by 2040 at the latest, I’m honoured to be leading the climate action roadmap steering group to help bring about bold and collective action across our industry and play a part in making things fairer for our planet.”

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