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Tesco green growth case study

Tesco: leading the way in green consumption

• Tesco's scale is creating green growth across a vast range of products, impacting a considerable hinterland of suppliers, all now sharing in the business benefits.
• Tesco is also visited by millions of customers, who are being provided with an increasingly large choice of products bearing the Carbon Reduction Label.
• Tesco have now set ambitious new targets to reduce carbon, generate efficiencies and reinvest in green growth, focusing on the three areas of direct emissions, embedded emissions (in products), and from usage.

Tesco employs 472,000 people globally, many more people work in the firms and businesses supplying their stores, and every week they reach millions of customers around the world. When Tesco does something, the world takes notice. "Doing more, to emit less" sums up Tesco's approach to climate change, and the results are starting to have a radical ripple effect, encouraging green growth locally, nationally, and even at a global level.

The company believes that retail businesses can play a powerful role in tackling climate change and, in doing so, generate new opportunities, jobs and businesses. It is determined to play its part, so has set itself ambitious targets for reducing carbon emissions in every major area of its activities – from the supply chains of its products and services to the impact of its buildings and deliveries. It also has ambitious targets for finding ways to help its customers reduce their own carbon footprint, and has a revolutionary long-term vision of becoming a zero-carbon business.

Helping consumers make a difference with the Carbon Reduction Label
Tesco has already made considerable progress in reducing their direct footprint, becoming a Carbon Trust Standard bearer in the process. But Tesco knows that this represents only a fraction of the emissions generated by the production, manufacture and use of the products sold.

Towards the end of 2007, Tesco therefore agreed to work with the Carbon Trust to assess the carbon footprint of a number of its products. Since then, it has continued this mission. Over the last three years, the global grocery giant has championed carbon footprinting and the Carbon Reduction Label itself, scaling up from orange juice and light bulbs to more than 100 own brand products across most household needs, so helping consumers make a difference, the consumer in turn rewarding those products and brand doing their bit to reduce emissions.

Playing a leadership role
Tesco is now playing a leadership role in bringing the problem of climate change to the attention of its suppliers, customers and competitors around the world. This year, Tesco raised the bar once again, setting ambitious new targets, developing new collaborations and finding ways to engage consumers to help them switch to low-carbon lives.

Tesco's targets address the three ways in which it has an impact on carbon emissions.

First, the emissions produced directly by heating, cooling and lighting stores and moving goods to them. Tesco's targets are:

• By 2012 to halve distribution emissions of each case of goods delivered, against a baseline of 2006
• By 2020 to halve emissions from a 2006/7 baseline portfolio of buildings
• New stores built between 2007 and 2020 to emit half the carbon dioxide of a 2006 new store
• By 2050 to become a zero-carbon business

Second, the emissions produced by suppliers as they grow and manufacture the goods customers want. Tesco knows reductions here will only be achieved through genuine, open source collaboration, and are ready to play their part in this and encourage their suppliers to do the same. Tesco's drive to reduce its carbon footprint on many of its products has had a beneficial knock-on effect to its suppliers, who are beginning to implement their own carbon-reducing and energy saving programmes – a way of driving shared green growth. This year, Tesco set themselves the target of reducing the emissions of the products in their supply chain by 30% by 2020.

Third, emissions produced by customers as they consume the products they buy. Right from the start Tesco has focused on making its low carbon choices clear and affordable, helped by the Carbon Trust's Carbon Reduction Label and also by the information Tesco provides consumers both at point of sale and via its website and its publications. This year, Tesco set themselves the target of finding ways to help their customers reduce their own carbon footprints by 50% by 2020.

Those companies who engage with Tesco in meeting these targets – a tremendous shared endeavour – appear well placed to benefit from its commitment to green consumption and green growth.

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