With the UN calling on both the public and private sectors to limit global warming to just 1.5 degrees, companies across the globe are pushing forward with their respective goals to reduce their carbon footprints significantly.
Leading British retail chain Sainsbury’s, in particular, has announced that it aims to hit its net-zero targets by 2035 rather than 2040 as it originally planned.
Over the past few years, Sainsbury’s has been actively implementing carbon-reduction measures throughout its organization, particularly where its shops are concerned. The company will have made the full shift to renewable energy in all of its branches by the end of this year. In fact, the company also intends to cut down on the use of fossil fuels significantly; instead, it aims to purchase all of its energy requirements from wind farms and solar facilities over the next couple of years.
Sainsbury’s is also in the process of installing eco-friendly LED lighting in all of its outlets, aiming to complete the transition from conventional fluorescent to LED by the end of 2021. Doing so will reduce the power consumed for lighting by 70 percent and overall in-store power consumption by around 20 percent.
The company has invested £320 million into over 3,100 sustainability and net-zero initiatives over the past decade.
According to Sainsbury’s CEO Simon Roberts, his company’s progress in sustainability has enabled them to achieve their targets more rapidly and has also given them the necessary push towards a greater reduction of emissions across the organization. Roberts went on to say that he credits the UN “red alert” report as a necessary wake-up call regarding the impact the business has on the environment.
“We all need to step up our efforts and be ambitious in our pursuits to limit global warming,” he said.
Sainsbury’s progress in terms of its net-zero goals is timely, given the recent UN COP26 Climate Change Summit in Glasgow, Scotland. The COP26 covered a variety of related topics with the end goal of mitigating the effects of global warming through both public and private initiatives.
Indeed, UK Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has praised the supermarket chain for taking the lead in the fight against climate change by accelerating its own goals.
“I hope [Sainsbury’s efforts] will encourage other businesses to show the same level of ambition,” he said.