19 October 2009 | Allie Anderson
Retail giant Tesco has announced plans to reduce its supply chain carbon footprint by 30 per cent by 2020.
Speaking at a conference in London last week, chief executive Sir Terry Leahy said cutting supply chain emissions over the next 11 years would play a key role in helping the company become carbon neutral by 2050. And he said it could only be done in close collaboration with suppliers.
Tesco will identify the products it sells in the UK that have the greatest carbon impact, such as those with excessive packaging, and look at ways to produce them more efficiently.
The company already includes information on the carbon footprint of 114 products, but this will be extended to 500 products by the end of the year.
Leahy said: "We will take a whole-life view, encompassing all processes in the supply chain, from primary production through to reuse, recycling or disposal of a product."
He added: "I want Tesco to commit to this work in clear and tangible terms. Only if we work closely with our suppliers can we identify and understand the carbon hotspots, and reduce or eliminate them.
"We can achieve our target only with suppliers' cooperation and collaboration. Our contribution is to do everything in our power to enable our supply chain to make these reductions."
To help consumers, Tesco is to introduce a "Buy one, get one free - later" scheme for perishable goods. This enables customers to pick up the free product at a later date, rather than at the time of purchase when it may go to waste.