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British retailers cut emissions by 35%, on course for 2020 targets

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Adopting LED lighting solutions can save a business up to 40% of its energy costs. Image: Kingspan.

Retailers in Great Britain have cut in-store emissions by 35% as they remain on course to meet ambitious 2020 targets, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has said.

The BRC this morning gave a progress report in its ‘A Better Retailing Climate’ initiative, which was launched in 2008 with the aim of meeting ambitious environmental targets by 2020.

Those targets include a 25% reduction in emissions from all retail operations, halving of energy-related emissions from buildings and the reduction of all energy-related emissions from store deliveries by 45%.

While in-store emissions have been cut by 35% in comparison to 2005 levels, retailers signed up to the targets have also halved greenhouse gas emissions from refrigeration, increased water usage monitoring by 91% and worked extensively on sustainable procurement channels.

One of the central contributors to the significant reduction of in-store emissions has been the wider adoption of LED lighting. Lighting remains the highest source of energy use in the retail sector and the BRC noted that retailers switching to LED solutions typically saved between 20 and 40% on their energy costs.

The BRC also noted that its members have dedicated resources to reduce peak energy demand in order to reduce their exposure to peak time pricing.

Andrew Opie, director of food and sustainability at the BRC, said that the consortium’s environmental targets demonstrated the value for retailers in creating and maintaining sustainable supply chains.

“We fully appreciate the positive role we can play with suppliers and consumers in meeting head on challenges of climate change and resource efficiency. We are confident that we will meet by the year 2020 the ambitious voluntary targets we’ve set ourselves,” he added.

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