Co-op net zero targets validated by Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) in a convenience retailer first

Co-op has become the first UK convenience retailer to have its net zero targets validated by the globally recognised Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

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SBTi – the global body that assesses corporate climate targets – has validated the leading convenience retailer’s ambitious near-term and overall targets to become net zero across its own operations by 2035, and entire value chain by 2040.

SBTi - the global body that assesses corporate climate targets

Co-op, which operates 2,400 food stores across the UK, is also one of the first companies in the UK to set science-based targets for its forest, land and agriculture (FLAG) emissions.

The ratified targets include stretching commitments to reduce the absolute Scope 1 and 2 emissions from its own operations by 66% and absolute Scope 3 emissions from energy and industrial sources by 58.8% by 2030 from a 2016 baseline year.

Co-op has also committed to reduce absolute scope 3 FLAG emissions by 42.4% by 2030 from a 2016 base year. This is coupled with a stated target of no deforestation across its primary deforestation-linked commodities by the end of 2025.

The retailer, which launched its Climate Plan in 2021, has already made significant progress in reducing its carbon footprint including a 21% reduction in Scope 3 emissions whilst also successfully more than halving (59%) its Scope 1 & 2 emissions across its own operations.

This has been achieved through investment in low-carbon technologies including reducing energy use, phasing in lower impact refrigerants, and reducing fuel use for transport as well as action taken by Co-op and its suppliers to reduce the carbon intensity of key lines such as meat and dairy.

Shirine Khoury Haq, Co-op Group CEO and Co-Chair of the Government Net Zero Council said: “Reducing our impact on the planet is so important, which is why we are now building on the progress we have already made to date by setting ourselves challenging and robust targets. I’m delighted and proud that we are the first UK convenience retailer to have net-zero targets validated by the globally recognised body, SBTi. We are committed to maintaining the positive momentum we have already achieved in the decarbonisation of our supply chain.”

Co-op’s Climate Plan outlines three core principles in its commitment to reach net zero: We’ll follow the science, we’ll work for a fair and just transition, and we’ll co-operate to drive systems change. These are underpinned by projects** which include a focus on natural restoration and innovation, campaigning for climate action, and partnerships to drive climate innovation and the delivery of water security within Co-op’s supply base.

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