Morrisons has brought forward its commitment to be net zero carbon emissions from its own operations by 2035, five years earlier than initially pledged and 15 years ahead of the UK government target.
Morrisons is also committing to reducing its wider ‘Scope 3’ emissions across its entire own brand supply chain – by 30 per cent by 2030 and is already working with suppliers to support them in this.
Morrisons is ahead of forecast in reducing its operational carbon emissions. A 33 per cent cut in carbon emissions was promised by 2025, and the current reduction has already reached 32 per cent – saving almost 300,000 tonnes of CO2 since 2017.
Future carbon reductions will be achieved by: being directly supplied by ‘net zero’ carbon British farms; reducing energy and using renewable energy; using low carbon vehicles and offering EV charging; reducing food waste and food miles and ensuring zero deforestation in its supply chains. It also plans to help its suppliers audit and reduce their CO2 emissions. Morrisons has a strong carbon reduction plan, rather than relying heavily on offsetting.
As part of its carbon reduction plan Morrisons will become the first supermarket to own and operate its own solar ‘farm’ across sites and stores. The ‘farm’ will become the latest addition to Morrisons sites and infrastructure giving increased control over its operations and costs. Morrisons currently owns 18 food-making facilities across the country.
Spanning nearly 125 acres in total by 2025 – the size of over 70 football pitches – Morrisons solar ‘farm’ will be one of the biggest in the UK. Its 230,000 panels – generating double the power of many normal domestic solar panels and with a lifespan of 25 years – will produce over 100 megawatts of electricity to supply 20 per cent of the power to the stores and sites it sits on. It is also estimated that they will reduce 21,000 tonnes of CO2 per annum.
Almost all of the power generated from the solar panels will be channelled straight into Morrisons stores and sites, rather than going into the national grid. The green energy will supply Morrisons store appliances that require the most energy, like fridges and freezers.
David Potts, CEO at Morrisons, said: “The climate crisis is the greatest challenge of our generation – and the time is now. As a supermarket we depend on a healthy planet to produce the goods we sell to customers.
“We’ve committed to removing carbon emissions, rather than setting a carbon neutral target that would depend heavily on offsetting. We’re also investing resources to bring forward our net zero commitment by five years which is very ambitious but very necessary. Our new solar farm and net zero carbon agriculture programme are just two ways we’ll achieve our commitment.”
Hugh Jones, Managing Director – Advisory, at the Carbon Trust said: “By aligning its goals with a 1.5°C future Morrisons is ensuring it builds resilience firmly into its business model and will be positioned to thrive as the global economy moves to zero emissions.”
Morrisons is supportive of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals which aim to end poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change globally by 2030. The company is a signatory to the British Retail Consortium’s Climate Change Roadmap to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees – in line with the highest ambition of the international Paris Agreement – to limit temperature rises to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.
Morrisons has worked with the Carbon Trust to measure its emissions and set science-based carbon reduction targets. It is also working with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) on the approval of its ‘Scope 3’ targets. It will report on progress every year.
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