Tesco has hailed “significant progress” in reducing its carbon emissions, as Britain’s biggest supermarket chain reported a near 13% rise in operating profits for the year.

Pinpointing some of its green highlights for the year ending February 2023, the grocery giant cited that it had cut scope 1 and scope 2 emissions by 61% against its baseline, surpassing its 2025 target of 60%.

Tesco said: “We continue to take action on climate change and this year we became one of the first companies globally to set validated science-based targets on all greenhouse gas emissions across our full group value chain, including those originating from forests, land and agriculture (FLAG).”

Further highlights in the period include Tesco rolling out 278 more electric delivery vans in the UK, moving to lower emissions of refrigerant gases in its chilled distribution network, and installing heat pumps which, it said, were now in most of its UK Express stores and a small number of stores across its European estate.

The grocer, which uses 100% renewable electricity across the group, added it plans to roll-out solar panels on 100 of its stores across the UK over the next three years.

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It said its renewable energy partnership with EDF Renewables and other partners is expected to generate around a third of its UK electricity demand within the next 18 months.

The supermarket is also supporting its agricultural suppliers’ transition to low-carbon fertilisers, with its second year of trials underway and covering ten times the area of the first year; as well engaging its suppliers to better support its net zero commitment, with over 70% now having publicly set a net zero ambition.

Meanwhile, in good news for shoppers, Tesco said that inflationary pressures have “lessened substantially”.

CEO Ken Murphy said the retailer is encouraged by signs that consumer sentiment is improving and offers hope that the worst of the cost-of-living squeeze may be over.

The UK’s largest supermarket group posted an adjusted operating profit of £2.83bn for the year to February, up almost 13% on the previous year.

Revenues, excluding VAT rose by 4.4%, to £68.2bn for the year.

Earlier this month, Tesco partnered with NatWest to provide financial help for farmers who want to move to sustainable farming methods.

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