John Lewis Partnership has announced it will achieve a net zero carbon footprint by 2050 at the latest, without purchasing offsets.
The pledge covers all John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners shops, head offices, distribution centres and all other UK sites. Its entire transport fleet will achieve zero carbon status by 2045.
The company’s announcement to reduce its operational greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 at the latest, without purchasing offsets, is in line with the pathway set by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to limit global warming to 1.5C.
JLP said it will initially focus on making significant emissions to reductions in the vital period of the next ten years, to decarbonise its operations as much as possible, and as quickly as possible.
By 2028, it will have removed a third of carbon from its operations through a significant investment in new refrigeration technology, biomethane-powered trucks, electric vans and renewable electricity. This is expected to result in carbon dioxide savings equivalent to removing 16,000 petrol cars off the road every year.
The new targets build on significant emissions reductions already achieved, including a 70% reduction last year against a 2010 baseline - two years before the 2020 deadline the company had set itself.
Transport currently contributes more than 40% of JLP’s overall carbon footprint. To counter this, the Partnership has set an ambitious target of achieving a zero-carbon fleet by 2045. It has already started rolling out new biomethane-powered heavy trucks, which emit over 80% less CO2 than standard diesel alternatives, and aims to switch its entire fleet of over 3,200 vehicles to zero-emission vehicles. The heavy trucks will be switched to biomethane by 2028, and it has started electrifying its fleet of vans used for home deliveries.
Benet Northcote, partner & director of corporate responsibility at the John Lewis Partnership, said: “We recognise that urgent action is needed to keep global warming below 1.5C 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.
“It’s of paramount importance to us as a co-owned business to ensure the Partnership is prepared for the future. We are now only one generation away from 2050 and we are committed to playing our part in transitioning to a zero carbon future.”
The John Lewis Partnership is now the largest employee-owned business in the UK, with 83,900 employees who are all Partners in the business and share in its profits.