Nov 10, 2020
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BRC launches major climate action plan, big name retailers sign up

Nov 10, 2020

The British Retail Consortium has announced a major new initiative “to reach Net Zero by 2040, with stores and warehouses powered by net zero electricity by 2030”.

Photo: Markus Spiske/public domain

The BRC now has a Climate Action Roadmap that outlines steps to “decarbonise the retail industry and its supply chains” and said 63 leading retailers are committing resources to delivering the new Roadmap.

In the fashion, beauty and general merchandise sectors, they include Harvey Nichols, Primark, Superdry, Boots, River Island, Ted Baker, N Brown, Seasalt, AllSaints, Body Shop and Sainsbury’s.

“The climate crisis remains one of the greatest threats to our planet and we all have a part in tackling it,” the BRC said. “The UK has an opportunity to rebuild a fairer, more sustainable economy, in a post-pandemic era, which starts by cutting carbon emissions”.

The BRC’s Roadmap has five areas of action that include putting decarbonisation at the core of all business decision-making; reducing carbon emissions from shops and distribution centres; moving to net zero logistics operations; increasing sustainably sourced products; and helping customers and employees to live low-carbon lifestyles.

The trade body said that within the next 20 years, “the British public can expect to buy or rent products knowing they have minimal impact on the climate. The future is exciting, from algae-based carbon-absorbing clothes; shops and cafes powered by energy captured from customers’ footsteps; to drone delivery and products ‘printed’ at home by 3D printers. The opportunities to reduce carbon emissions in retail are huge”.

It will give more details of its plans at the UNFCCC Race to Zero Dialogues on November 10.

Meanwhile, BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said: “Climate change is a threat that none of us can afford to ignore. The BRC Climate Action Roadmap is a clear and decisive statement that the retail industry is ready to take on this challenge – to be part of the solution. By 2040, we want every UK customer to be able to be able to make purchases – in-store and online – safe in the knowledge that they are not contributing to global heating.

“Never before has an entire industry been so ambitious in tackling climate change. Retail is the critical gateway between vast international supply chains and every one of us as citizens. We have a fantastic opportunity to make a real global difference if we can all work collectively.”

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