Co-op aims to have more than 65% of suppliers enrolled in SBTi

The Co-op aims to have two-thirds of its suppliers enrolled in the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), as part of its “ambitious” new sustainability targets.

The retailer today unveiled new eco targets to cut carbon emissions and food waste and up its investment in apprenticeships.

The Co-op aims to have two-thirds of its suppliers enrolled in the SBTi by the end of 2025, from a starting base of 37%, cut operational food waste by 650 tonnes of food waste a year across stores and depots, and invest in thousands of apprenticeship programmes across the UK.

The new targets are linked to the group’s aim to reach net zero by 2035 across its operations and its entire business by 2040.

The business said its new targets are aligned to its credit facilities – the Co-op was the first UK retailer to adopt a sustainability-linked financing facility in 2019. 

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Co-op’s sustainability-linked revolving credit facility is supported by Lloyds Bank, Barclays, NatWest, ING Bank, Handelsbanken and Bank of Ireland, all of whom participate as lenders.

Lloyds Bank led the structure and coordination of the sustainability-linked facility and advised the Co-op in achieving all lender agreement to the new sustainability metrics.

CFO Rachel Izzard said: “Our underlying financial strength has enabled us to support our members, our colleagues and their communities.

“These new targets reflect our commitment to the issues which matter most to our member-owners, including environmental stewardship and the reduction of carbon emissions and food waste across our business and supply chains. 

“This also marks a further step forward towards our goal of achieving Net Zero across our operations by 2035. The banks supporting Co-op share our commitment to these important areas, and their backing will go a long way to facilitating the implementation and achievement of our plans.”

Last month, the Co-op signed a solar power deal with ScottishPower Renewables, which it says underscores its “commitment to achieving net zero”.

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