Tesco expects to see “more concrete action” from its suppliers to help it meet its carbon emission reduction targets.

The retailer told The Grocer it was seeking to treble the number of companies involved in a collaborative programme, launched last year, to find ways to save energy and reduce waste.

Tesco aims to slash its environmental footprint by 30% by 2020 but said the success depended on a more collective effort across its supply chain.

“This is absolutely about achieving our targets,” said the supermarket’s climate change director, Helen Fleming. “I think what we will want to see are real concrete actions. I expect to see a lot more of it.”

Trials began a year ago of a supply chain collaboration hub, overseen for Tesco by the consultancy 2degrees. That was extended to include nearly 300 suppliers, who share ideas through web conferences, site visits by Tesco experts and other events.

Major suppliers including Coca-Cola, Diageo and GSK have already joined the group but Tesco now wants to get its top 1,000 suppliers involved by the end of this year.

“We have already had suppliers achieving enormous reductions in energy use and water usage,” Fleming added.

“We believe the way ahead with climate change is through collaboration and we hope many more of them will become involved as a result of this new drive.”

“This is a massively ambitious program,” said 2degrees founder Martin Chilcott. “The vast majority of the products Tesco sells come from these suppliers and they account for most of the CO2. It’s hard evidence of Tesco’s commitment to cost and carbon reduction in its supply chain.”