UK supermarket launches £1bn Net Zero commitment

UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s is to halve its use of plastics packaging by 2025, in what it claims to be first commitment of this scale by a UK supermarket. The company has also committed to reducing food waste by 50 per cent by 2030.

The company has today launched a £1 billion ($1.3bn) commitment to become Net Zero by 2040 – in line with the goal to limit global warming to 1.5 deg C – and has pledged to achieved this through a combination of carbon and food waste reductions, and increasing recycling, biodiversity and sustainable eating.

The projections released by Sainsbury’s would place it a full decade ahead of the UK government’s own target.

Sainsbury’s chief executive Mike Coupe said: “We have a duty to the communities we serve to continue to reduce the impact our business has on the environment and we are committing to reduce our own carbon emissions and become Net Zero by 2040, ten years ahead of the government’s own targets, because 2050 isn’t soon enough.”

By the end of 2020, Sainsbury’s plans to have replaced dark coloured, hard-to-recycle plastics and polystyrene packaging from its own brand ranges. The retailer also plans to increase the use of recycling in its own operations and make it easier for customers and staff to recycle.

The company is piloting Deposit Return Schemes (DRS) in five stores where customers recycle plastics bottles in exchange for a 5p per item coupon towards their shopping.

In the area of food waste, Sainsbury’s has developed innovative packaging and clearer labelling to increase the shelf-life of products and let customers know how long they can enjoy them. The retailer claims to have sent no food to landfill since 2013.