Britain's Tesco extends net zero pledge



© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A logo of Tesco is pictured outside a Tesco supermarket in Hatfield, Britain October 6, 2020. REUTERS/Peter Cziborra

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s biggest retailer Tesco (LON:) said on Friday it would extend its green targets by promising net zero carbon emissions by 2050 across its operations together with those generated by the products it sells and its supply chains.

Tesco also pledged a new group-wide net zero target of 2035 for all its own operations, bringing it into line with the ambition set last year for its UK business alone.

Supermarket groups have been responding to growing consumer demands for less waste, less plastic and more action on the environment.

Tesco said emissions from its products and supply chain make up more than 90% of its total emissions footprint.

It said it would encourage its suppliers to use low-carbon fertiliser and alternative animal feed such as insect meal, and speed up its efforts to tackle emissions from refrigeration, heating and transport.

Tesco’s plan failed to impress environmental campaigner Greenpeace UK, who accused the supermarket group of greenwashing.

“Tesco is desperate to give the impression it’s leading the way on climate ahead of COP26 … But this announcement is just hot air and an attempt to buy time,” said Anna Jones, Greenpeace’s head of forests and food.

In May, Britain reaffirmed its commitment to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, a pledge it hopes will spur on other nations before November’s COP26 climate summit in Scotland.

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