Retail industry to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2040

Sixty-three major retailers including Morrisons, Ikea, Ocado, Boots and Missguided have pledged to help the retail industry reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2040.

The BRC’s new Climate Action Roadmap has outlined strategies to decarbonise the retail sector and its supply chains with five key areas for action.

The overall aim is that by 2040 all products that consumers buy or rent will have minimal impact on the environment.

These key areas include putting decarbonisation at the core of business decision making, reducing carbon emissions from shops, moving to net-zero logistics operations, increasing sustainably sourced products, and supporting customers and employees to carry out low carbon lifestyles.

The BRC also committed to exploring new innovations such as carbon-absorbing clothes or drone delivery to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint.

“Climate change is a threat that none of us can afford to ignore,” BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said.

“The BRC Climate Action Roadmap is a clear and decisive statement that the retail industry is ready to take on this challenge – to be part of the solution.

“By 2040, we want every UK customer to be able to make purchases – in-store and online – safe in the knowledge that they are not contributing to global heating.

“Never before has an entire industry been so ambitious in tackling climate change. Retail is the critical gateway between vast international supply chains and every one of us as citizens.

“We have a fantastic opportunity to make a real global difference if we can all work collectively.”

WWF head of climate change Gareth Redmond-King said: “Business has a huge role to play in tackling the climate crisis – every business leader must decide urgently whether they are working towards a 1.5°C future and stand up and be counted.

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