Sainsbury’s has agreed a tie-up with Imperial College London and the Grantham Institute for Climate Change that could eventually see the supermarket provide heating for its shoppers’ homes.

The arrangement aims to slash the retailer’s carbon footprint and channel research for Sainsbury’s future stores programme.

“This new partnership will bring cutting-edge research to mitigate some of the most pressing climate change issues in the consumer retail sector,” said Professor Sir Brian Hoskins of the Grantham Institute.

Sainsbury's commercial director Neil Sachdev added: “The challenge of climate change needs bold leadership but ultimately it is action that counts and I am eager to see this relationship bear real fruit.”

Last month Sainsbury's opened its fourth eco-store, in Westhoughton – the first in Europe to use a biomass power generator.

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