Boots, Next, WHSmith and more make new pledge to tackle climate change

A total of 20 major UK retailers have signed a declaration to commission the creation of a comprehensive roadmap to provide the industry with guidance and support on how to decarbonise.

Businesses such as Amazon, Boots, Missguided, Next, and WHSmith have put their names forward for the campaign, which is being spearheaded by the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

Not only are the businesses committed to cutting carbon emissions associated with their shops, distribution centres and logistics, but also, crucially, their supply chains and the products people are buying every day.

Despite currently facing the ongoing challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and how to ramp up business again following a disrupted few months of store closures and workforce limitations because of Covid-19, retailers are showing the battle against climate change should not take a back seat.

The declaration notes retailers “are coming together through the BRC to develop a groundbreaking decarbonisation plan that will guide the industry on the steps necessary to accelerate progress to a Net Zero UK, ahead of the government’s 2050 target”.

The research will be conducted by environmental experts and published in the form of a roadmap, along with a wider industry commitment, in the run-up to the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow in November 2021.

It builds on previous work retailers have been undertaking, supported by the BRC, to reduce their carbon footprint.

Peter Andrews, head of sustainability policy at the BRC, said: “Climate change remains one of the biggest threats to the planet.

“As we start to recover from the coronavirus pandemic there is no better opportunity to build a greener more sustainable world. The expectations of society are shifting rapidly. Greater action from businesses is expected. Retail will lead the way.”

He added: “Retailers, suppliers and customers all have their part to play in reducing their carbon emissions. This roadmap will be the first step towards a better, more sustainable future. It will then be up to wider industry and government to implement the recommendations it sets out.”

The full list of signatories is, as follows:

  • Aldi
  • Amazon
  • Booksellers Association of UK & Ireland
  • Boots UK
  • Central England Co-operative
  • Co-op
  • Costa Coffee
  • Dixons Carphone
  • Greggs
  • Ikea UK & Ireland
  • Kingfisher
  • Lidl GB
  • Marks & Spencer
  • Missguided
  • Morrisons
  • Musgrave
  • Next
  • Ocado Retail
  • TJX UK (TK Maxx and Homesense parent)
  • WH Smith