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Co-op to produce carbon neutral own-brand food and drink

Tue 18 May 2021 | 12:01 pm GMT
Michelle Urquhart | Products of Change Writer

The Co-op will sell fully carbon neutral own brand food and drink by 2025

The Co-op has announced that it will be the first supermarket to sell fully carbon neutral own brand food and drink by 2025. The world-first move by a major supermarket is a radical part of an ambitious ten-point climate plan to achieve net zero carbon emission by 2040. The comprehensive plan details how the Co-op will reduce the direct and indirect impacts of all the food and drink it sells and its wider operations. In an industry-first move, Co-op will price match its plant-based GRO range against equivalent meat products. It will make its entire 200-strong home delivery fleet electric, end the use of fossil fuel heating, lower farm agricultural emissions, cut packaging and reduce impacts from soy in animal feed. Co-op Food CEO, Jo Whitfield, whose pay is linked to its radical targets, said: “We are facing a monumental climate change crisis entirely of our own making. We must recognise that we are in part responsible and that we have to do more and quicker. We are sharing the action we are taking, unveiling a comprehensive plan rooted in science. Emissions from our operations and our own-brand products are where we have the greatest responsibility and can make the biggest difference. “Now when our members buy Co-op branded products and services we give local causes a helping hand and we’ll be addressing the urgent need to tackle the climate crisis. Funding schemes worldwide to tackle carbon emissions and supporting reforestation in the UK.” The Co-op recently announced that it would be doing away with its Bags for Life. Following the introduction of the carrier bag charge, research shows that sales of Bags for Life have increased, and they are now being treated by many people as if they were ‘single-use’, only they have a much larger plastic footprint. By removing Co-op Bags for Life from sale, the Co-op expects to reduce 870 tonnes of single-use plastic per year.
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