As a co-operative, we recognise our responsibilities to protect the planet and the environment around us.
In the face of a climate emergency and a broad range of other environmental issues, we are committed to playing our part, addressing the impact of our own business activities whilst also supporting the communities we operate in to become more sustainable.
We have committed to reduce our carbon emissions by 90% for 2030 and have now included a carbon metric within the Executive long-term incentive scheme. Our work in this important area builds on the success of our 100% renewable electricity supply arrangements, zero-waste to landfill and our Carbon Trust Triple Standard.
Measures taken to reduce our environmental impact
Continued investment in energy-efficiency measures has supported further reductions in consumption with electricity reduced by 9% versus 2019 and gas by 12%. Over the last year 25 funeral homes and petrol filling stations received a full LED lighting upgrade and old gas heating systems continue to be replaced with 100% renewable electricity powered upgrades. The recent refit of our Boley Park store in Lichfield led to a halving in electricity usage, demonstrating the progress made on designing efficient stores.
Employee travel was significantly down on the previous year as Covid-19 restrictions changed ways of working. The carbon savings from this were more than offset by the increased demand for additional deliveries to our stores early in the year, seeing our overall fleet emissions increase by 2%. Electric vehicles for home deliveries at eight stores has started the process of de-carbonising our fleet, a process that we intend to speed up through 2021 and onwards into the future.
To achieve our Carbon Neutral pledge by 2030 we have ambitious targets to achieve an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2023 and 85% by 2026. The strategy will be supported by significant investment across the Society in energy efficient equipment and building design, onsite renewable energy technologies, and the electrification of our fleet, coupled with changes to operational processes to achieve this important goal.
Full Environmental Impact Figures
Our reporting is in line with the 2019 HM Government Environmental Reporting Guidelines and the GHG Reporting Protocol – Corporate Standard.