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John Lewis to go net zero emissions by 2050 ‘at the latest’

The John Lewis Partnership will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 at the latest, the company announced today (March 20).

The group, which owns supermarket chains Waitrose and John Lewis will look to achieve this by reducing emissions from its transport fleet and its buildings.

Transport emissions contribute over 40% of the company’s overall carbon footprint, and the Partnership has set a target of having zero carbon fleet by 2045. They have already started rolling out new biomethane-powered heavy trucks, which emit over 80% less COthan standard diesel alternatives and aims to switch its entire fleet of over 3,200 vehicles to zero-emission vehicles.

The heaviest trucks will be switched to biomethane by 2028 and the company has started electrifying its fleet of vans used for home deliveries.

In addition to zero-emission deliveries, the company is working on encouraging sustainable travel across the business and to its locations. It already has 75 Electric Vehicle (EV) charging points across the estate and from this year these will all offer a minimum of fast (7kW) charging.

To reduce emissions from its offices and supermarkets, the company says will be run using 100% renewable and British-sourced energy by 2028.

Over the next ten years, they will also phase out all hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) – the greenhouse gases used in cooling systems – from its core refrigeration and switch these to HFC-free refrigerators, currently focusing on water-cooled refrigeration systems to achieve this.

They also hope to add to the 110 shops that have already been certified under the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) process, which benchmarks the environmental performance of buildings.

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.

‘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 targets were welcomed by Energy Minister, Clare Perry, who said ‘It’s fantastic to see the work that’s being done to reduce emissions from shops and buildings by committing to reduce energy use by a quarter and ensuring electricity across all sites will be 100% renewable and British-sourced by 2028.

‘This all 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 as part of our modern Industrial Strategy.’

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