Sainsbury’s aims to be carbon neutral by 2040

Plastic shopping bag Sainsbury's
olesea vetrila /

Sainsbury’s, the United Kingdom's second biggest supermarket chain, promises to become carbon neutral by 2040. Moreover, it pledges to invest a billion pounds to reach that target.


"2050 is not enough"

Sainsbury’s promises that by 2040, it will reach zero emission of CO2 - ten years earlier than the target set out by the British government. In a statement quoted by Reuters, the retailer criticises the governent, saying its 2050 target is "not soon enough".


"Over the next 20 years we will...transform the way we do business and put environmental impact at the forefront of every decision we make", CEO Mike Coupe said. Sainsbury's joins a growing list of retailers who pledge to become carbon neutral in the foreseeable future, like Starbucks and Amazon.


3000 initiatives

The British chain wants to reduce its carbon emissions by an increased use of renewable energy and recycled products, and a decrease in water and plastic use and food waste. As such, it will cooperate with the Carbon Trust and release updates about its progress every six months. Its current estimated carbon footprint is about a million tonnes of CO2, a reduction by a third compared to fifteen years ago that the chain owes to an investment of 260 million poinds (300 million euros) in some 3000 initiatives.


This target may be faster than the British government's, but it is a full nineteen years later than Belgian retailer Delhaize's. Last year, the Ahold Delhaize subsidiary said it aimed to become carbon neutral by the end of next year, although it is unsure whether they will reach that target.