The John Lewis Partnership enters the Race to Zero, supporting the transition to a decarbonised economy

The John Lewis Partnership has joined a leading group of businesses that have signed up to the SBTi Business Ambition for 1.5°C and also joined UNFCCC Race to Zero campaign*. 

To mitigate some of the worst climate impacts and prevent a state of irreversible damage to societies, economies and the natural world, it’s essential that we hold temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. This means halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.

Marija Rompani, Director of Sustainability & Ethics at the John Lewis Partnership, comments: “This is a critical year for climate policy. World leaders are meeting at COP26 in a few short weeks and it’s essential that this global summit accelerates action towards the goals set out by the Paris Agreement and UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. 

“We are absolutely committed to that ambition and recognise the important role the retail industry has in supporting its goals. We of course will not be able to solve the climate crisis alone, but we are prepared to take bold action to ensure we’re part of the solution and we look forward to taking this critical next step as we set our science based targets.”

We are in the process of establishing our science-based targets for Waitrose and John Lewis in line with the 1.5°C pathway. This builds on our existing commitments to reach net zero emissions across our entire operations by 2035, and to source only from net zero farms in the UK by 2035. It will also ensure that our business follows a credible and scientifically verified carbon reduction pathway as we support the journey to net zero emissions. 

The Partnership has appointed new Climate Change Specialists to strengthen the team and bring additional expertise to help set the targets and our roadmap for Net Zero – Alex Sutton and Simon Winch. 

  • Alex will lead our climate change programme. He joins from SSE where he held the position of Chief Sustainability Officer for their network’s business and created a sector-leading Net Zero Strategy for their £2.2bn 5-year Business Plan. He also set the world’s first 1.5 degree Science Based Target for a networks company. 
  • Simon joins as environment lead, with responsibility for the Partnership’s approach to climate change, as well as biodiversity, circularity and food waste. Previously at Virgin Group, Simon has a decorated career in sustainability, having worked in the area as a consultant within higher education, in the public and voluntary sectors, and as CEO of global plant-based non-profit Veganuary.

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