John Lewis Partnership targets net zero emissions by 2050

The John Lewis Partnership has said it will reduce its operational greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 at the latest, without purchasing carbon offsets.

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It has also pledged to remove a third of CO2 from its operations by 2028 through significant investments in new refrigeration technology, biomethane-powered trucks, electric vans and renewable electricity.

This is expected to result in CO2 savings equivalent to removing 16,000 petrol cars off the road every year, with the company highlighting how the next decade will be critical for decarbonisation efforts.

John Lewis Partnership director, Benet Northcote, said: “We are 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.”

"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."

The new targets build on significant emissions reductions already achieved, including a 70% cut last year against a 2010 baseline – two years before the 2020 deadline the company had set itself.

To reduce transport emissions, which contribute over 40% of its overall carbon footprint, the company has also set a target of having a zero carbon fleet by 2045.

And to cut emissions from its physical estate, the partnership has committed to reducing its energy use by a quarter and ensuring electricity across all its sites will be 100% renewable and British-sourced by 2028.

While over the next decade it will phase out all hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) – the greenhouse gases used in cooling systems – from its core Waitrose & Partners refrigeration and switch these to HFC-free refrigerators.

Moreover, the company said that it would be assessing emissions outside its operations, with the aim of setting targets for its supply chain that are aligned with the Paris Agreement.

Energy minister, Claire Perry, said: “I’m incredibly impressed with the role John Lewis Partnership is playing in tackling the vital challenge of climate change.

“This goes to show how the UK is leading the world in cutting emissions while growing our economy, with clean growth driving amazing innovation and supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs."

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