Greggs says 2040 net zero target is ‘fully embedded’ into business

Greggs today said its 2040 net zero target is “fully embedded” into its business processes, as it updated the market on its sustainability efforts.

The high street baker’s eco update came as the business reported that pre-tax profits had risen by 21% to £188.3m, with a leap of almost 20% in total sales in 2023.

Furthermore, Greggs also said cost pressures are lowering and it sees an opportunity for hundreds more UK shops ahead as it continues the rapid expansion of its store estate, which now stands at a total of 2,473.

Regarding its net zero target, Britain’s biggest food-to-go retailer said it had switched from a set of plans to an “actionable programme of work”, with data outputs which it scrutinises every month.

But it admitted that decarbonising the Greggs business was “no small feat” and that it worked with Carbon Trust and other experts to help guide its decision.

Examples of measures it had undertaken include switching the refrigerant gas it uses to top up its coolers and migrating its car fleet to hybrid or electric models.

Other sustainable initiatives include using flour made from Wildfarmed wheat to make some of its wholemeal products. This is grown following regenerative farming practices and standards that prioritise soil health, soil condition, and farm biodiversity by using low input farming methods.

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Greggs is also working with milk supplier Müller and and refuse collection firm Biffa to boost its sustainable efforts. The bakery’s milk bottles are disposed of with other dry mixed recycling, which Biffa converts into food-grade pellets. Müller then uses those pellets to make new Greggs bottles containing 30% recycled content.

Overall, Greggs said 97% of the electricity and 30% of the gas it purchases comes from certified renewable sources.

It said: “Ultimately, we want to stop using natural gas for baking and diesel for transportation and, in 2023, we began discussions with a potential green hydrogen supplier to explore the feasibility of powering our manufacturing sites and logistics fleets with green hydrogen.”

On its in-store equipment, Greggs said it was testing sustainability initiatives in its Eco-Shop and, during 2023, started the rollout of new items including new microwaves which work more efficiently and have an anticipated lifespan which is twice that of the previous model.

Gregg also pointed to the Greggs Sustainability Challenge with its waste partner Biffa, inviting staff to propose pioneering sustainability initiatives.

Earlier this week it was revealed Greggs finished bottom of Which? sustainability rankings.

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