As part of a new business strategy, employee-owned business Waitrose and John Lewis have committed to becoming a net-zero business by 2035. The partnership has decided to focus on significantly reducing emissions within the next ten years in an attempt to fight climate change.
“We recognise that urgent action is needed to avoid the most dangerous impacts of climate breakdown, and we are responding with our most ambitious set of targets yet, aiming to decarbonise as much as we can in the next ten years and setting out a clear path to becoming a net zero operation”.
As part of the commitment towards tackling climate change and a greener, more sustainable future, the partnership is aiming for their transport fleet to be zero-carbon by 2045. Diesel vehicles are being phased out and replaced with a fleet of biomethane fuelled trucks which emit 83% less co2 than standard diesel vehicles. This will save more than 50,000 tonnes of co2 across the Partnership each year, this is equivalent to over 6,000 UK households.
Waitrose and John Lewis have already reduced energy use by 22%. Food waste has a huge carbon impact and the partnership has been working hard to decrease waste in their customer’s homes and own operations. The company is also working closely with suppliers to tackle the issue of food waste on farms too.
Since April 2018, 98% of Waitrose and John Lewis’ electricity has been certified as coming exclusively from UK renewable sources, such as wind, sun, tides and water. This underlines their commitment to tackling climate change as well as supporting the UK’s renewable energy sector.
John Lewis and partners are already making steps within the Waitrose fresh produce to protect biodiversity. They were the only UK retailer to ensure all fresh fruit and vegetables are grown to align with Environment and Farming standards, with minimal pesticide use. There is a strong focus on nature-friendly farming and all those who produce fresh produce for the company are made to complete a Waitrose Farm Assessment each year.
The John Lewis Partnership has removed 65% of black plastic packaging from fruit and vegetables. Waitrose is the first supermarket to exclusively sell paper-stem cotton buds and has replaced plastic straws with paper versions in all its cafes and is on target to remove all disposable takeaway coffee cups from its shops which will save 52 million cups a year.
The partnership has also been working to reduce plastic hanger waste and has recently introduced new, durable carrier bags made from 70% recycled material. Click and collect bags also now contain a minimum of 50 per cent recycled content.
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