The Environmental Sustainability Award: Tesco

Highly commended

Highly commended for a Business in the Community Responsible Business Awards 2018. 

Action and Impact 
In 2017 Tesco, the third largest retailer in the world, became the first corporate to create a science-based carbon reduction target.  This target is designed to keep the planet on no more than 1.5-degree warming trajectory. 

This is the backdrop to the company’s latest CSR strategy, known as the Little Helps Plan, and frames Tesco’s efforts to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and help to combat climate change.

Since 2006, it has achieved a 41% reduction in carbon intensity per square foot of retailing thanks to improvements in energy and refrigeration efficiency. This equates to an absolute emissions reduction of 3%, despite more than a 75% increase in floor space. 

Tesco is now also buying renewable certificate-backed electricity for its UK and Ireland operations. With the UK and Ireland markets making up over half of its electricity demand, the transfer to 100% renewables has seen a reduction of about 1.2 million tonnes of carbon. By 2030 all of Tesco’s electricity will be renewably sourced, saving 2.4 million tonnes of carbon.

The investment of £700m in energy efficiency since 2007 has reaped a £200m return on investment each year on energy bills. The refrigeration efficiency and replacement programme have seen the emissions from refrigeration reduce by 26%, with 250 stores using natural refrigeration.