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UK retail aims to hit net zero carbon emissions by 2040

By Huw Hughes

Nov. 10, 2020

Retail

The UK retail industry has set out a target to hit net zero carbon emissions by 2040, with stores and warehouses powered by net zero electricity by 2030.

The country’s trade body, the British Retail Consortium (BRC), announced the new target on Tuesday as part of its Climate Action Roadmap which was first announced in July and outlines steps to decarbonise the retail industry and its supply chains.

The roadmap was initially developed with the help of 20 leading retailers including Marks and Spencer, Amazon, Missguided and Next, and now has 63 retailers committed to its targets.

’Vital’ that retail and government work together

The Climate Action Roadmap is split into five areas of action: Putting decarbonisation at the core of all business decision making; Reducing carbon emissions from shops and distribution centres; Moving to net zero logistics operations; Increasing sustainably sourced products; and helping customers and employees to live low carbon lifestyles.

The BRC said it believes the UK can be a “global leader” in the transition to a zero-carbon world, but to do so it is “vital” the retail industry and government work in partnership.

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

“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.”

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