Sainsbury’s is aiming to slash its use of greenhouses gases in its supply chain by 30% by 2030 as part of its pledge to be net zero by 2040.
The supermarket will achieve the reduction by improving overall energy efficiency across its stores and supply chain. It has worked with the Carbon Trust to create measures to help it reach the goal.
It will install more energy-efficient fridges and LED lighting in its existing stores, while new branches will be designed to help minimise energy consumption. Its newly rennovated Hempstead Valley supermarket in Kent, for instance, underwent a complete refrigeration refit with aerofoil technology to keep the fridges cool and aisles warmer and save 15% of the usual energy used by fridges.
Sainsbury’s will also help suppliers develop and set their own carbon reduction targets and identify opportunities to reduce emissions.
These changes come as part of Sainsbury’s wider commitment become net zero within its own operations by 2040. This objective is 10 years ahead of the UK-wide aim set out by the government as part of the UN Paris Agreement to reduce global warming to at least 2°C.
It was the first UK supermarket to announce the goal in January last year, sparking a race to net zero among the grocers.
The endeavour has already seen Sainsbury’s swap its manual pallet trucks with more energy-efficient versions, claiming another UK supermarket first in doing so. It switched the pallet trucks used by its in-store staff for pro-lifters and kinetic-powered ones, while those in the stock room now use lithium-ion trucks in place of lead acid battery manual equipment.
“Setting bold science-based targets across our emissions strengthens our long-standing commitment to protecting the environment and tackling climate change,” said Sainsbury’s CEO Simon Roberts. “We are making significant progress on our road to net zero however we can’t get there on our own. To make a meaningful difference to climate change we need to collaborate with industry, work closely with our suppliers and engage our colleagues and customers.”
“As part of our strategy, we are improving the overall energy efficiency of our existing stores and depots, investing in innovative technology to ensure our fridges are as efficient as possible, reducing refrigerant gas and continuing to look at zero carbon alternatives for the delivery of goods,” Roberts added. “We will also ensure that our new store designs are in line with the latest thinking to minimise energy consumption. We have one opportunity to get this right, so it is really important that we continue to be ambitious and innovate.”