Tesco has reaped a £37 million reward for its investment in energy savings policies over the past two years.
In its annual report the retailer says that energy efficiency initiatives have delivered the multi-million pound savings as it continues to work towards its zero carbon goal by 2050, reducing impact on the environment while containing costs in a fiercely competitive sector.
Where have the savings come from?
The savings come from investments in LED lighting and fans efficiency, with an 89 gigawatt-hour reduction in consumption over the past year.
In line with the Paris Agreement, Tesco aims to reduce carbon emissions 35% by 2020, 60% by 2025 and 100% by 2050 against 2015/16 levels.
58% of Tesco’s electricity comes from renewable sources – 3% more than last year. It aims to increase this to 65% by end of next year and to reach its 100% target by 2030. The retailer already buys 100% renewable power in the UK and Ireland.
The sustainability policy also mean that Tesco has reduced net carbon emissions by 13% with a net carbon footprint of 3.42 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) in 2017/18 compared to 3.89m CO2e in the previous year.
This has ensured a reduction in net carbon intensity per square foot of retail and distribution floor space of 6% year on year.
Every little helps
Supply chain emissions have been reduced by 6.2% in 2017/18 against a 2015/16 baseline, according to Tesco’s Little Helps Plan Report. The company is also committed to switch the refrigerant gas used in 1,200 of its UK stores to a lower Global Warming Potential (GWP) gas. The switch will lead to a 40% reduction in the stores’ refrigerant emissions, which in 2016 accounted for 15% of the company direct carbon footprint.
It has converted the first 60 stores and aim to roll this out to the remaining stores in the next three years. In June 2017, Tesco were awarded a Green Cooling Leader award by Environmental Investigation Agency for our continued drive to move away from HFCs.
The company has also reached 81% of its target to avoid wasting any food that is safe for human consumption in the UK as well as removing 2,914 tonnes of hard-to-recycle materials from Own Brand packaging.