Co-op (00D)

Source: Co-op

It has set out to become net zero across its own operations by 2035 

Co-op has become one of the first UK convenience retailers to have its net zero targets validated by the globally recognised Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

SBTi – the global body that assesses corporate climate targets – has validated Co-op’s targets to become net zero across its own operations by 2035 and entire value chain by 2040.

This means the targets are in line with what the latest climate science deems necessary to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement – a legally binding international treaty on climate change – to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

As Co-op paves the way towards its end goal, it plans to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions from its own operations by 66% by 2030, from a 2016 base year, while reducing Scope 3 emissions from energy and industrial sources by 58.8%.

It has also committed to reduce Scope 3 forest, land and agriculture emissions by 42.4% by 2030 from a 2016 base year. This is coupled with a stated target of no deforestation across its primary deforestation-linked commodities by the end of 2025.

The validation follows the convenience retailer’s “significant progress” already made to reduce its carbon footprint since 2016, including a 21% reduction in Scope 3 emissions and 59% in Scope 1 and 2.

This has been achieved through investment in low-carbon technologies including reducing energy use, phasing in lower impact refrigerants, and reducing fuel use for transport. It has also taken action with suppliers to reduce the carbon intensity of key lines, including meat and dairy.

“Reducing our impact on the planet is so important, which is why we are now building on the progress we have already made to date by setting ourselves challenging and robust targets,” said Co-op Group CEO and co-chair of the government net zero council Shirine Khoury-Haq.

“I’m delighted and proud that we are the first UK convenience retailer to have net zero targets validated by the globally recognised body, SBTi. We are committed to maintaining the positive momentum we have already achieved in the decarbonisation of our supply chain.”

In January, Midcounties Co-op, which has over 230 food stores, also had its targets verified by the Science Based Targets initiative. This includes reducing its direct green-house gas emissions, such as those associated with electricity usage and refrigeration, by 50% by 2030.