UK retail sector sets ambition to hit net zero by 2040

A total of 63 retail leaders have signed the British Retail Consortium’s climate action roadmap to decarbonise retail stores by 2030, deliveries by 2035 and products by 2040

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has unveiled a new ambition for the UK retail industry to reach net zero by 2040.

More than 60 leading companies, including Aldi, Asda, Co-op, Iceland, John Lewis, Lidl, M&S, and Sainsbury’s have pledged to support a roadmap to decarbonise retail stores by 2030, deliveries by 2035 and products by 2040.

The plan sets out five areas of action, including a reduction of carbon dioxide emissions from shops and distribution centres, net zero logistics operations and sustainability of the product sourcing.

BRC said there are many projects that could potentially be deployed by the retail industry, from algae-based carbon-absorbing clothes and shops powered by energy captured from customers’ footsteps to drone delivery and even products created at home by 3D printers.

Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: “Climate change is a threat that none of us can afford to ignore. The BRC Climate Action Roadmap is a clear and decisive statement that the retail industry is ready to take on this challenge – to be part of the solution.

“By 2040, we want every UK customer to be able to be able to make purchases, in store and online, safe in the knowledge that they are not contributing to global heating.”

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