Products of Change


Tue 28 Mar 2023 | by Rob Hutchins

Eight of UK's leading supermarkets join WWF and WRAP's Retailer Net Zero CAP

The climate action NGO, WRAP has joined forces with WWF-UK and eight of the UK’s largest retailers to launch the Retailer Net Zero CAP (Collaborative Action Programme) to take aim at accelerating the food and drink sector towards Net Zero. With estimates that food and drink consumed in the UK is responsible for around 35% of our territorial emissions, the new collective aims to standardise measurement and reporting of Greenhouse Gas emissions and drive action on cutting its environmental impact. Aldi, Co-op, Lidl, M&S, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, and Waitrose have each signed up to the programme, representing around 80% of UK grocery retail market share. They have each committed to the Collaboration’s two-phase programme. The first phase, in 2023, will ensure consistent measurement and reporting of their Scope 3 GHG emissions. The programme will focus on scoping high-impact areas for collaboration to accelerate progress on reducing emissions from the huge amount of our food that is sold in UK supermarkets. Phase 2, from 2024, will take action on these high-impact opportunities, and the investments needed to collaborate and meet targets. The programme will build an assessment of the action currently being undertaken by retailers on key areas of GHG mitigation and identify gaps. Currently, there is a range of different approaches and methods used to measure the carbon footprint of food and drink products, resulting in confusion and inefficiencies across the sector. The Retailer Net Zero CAP marks an ‘unprecedented’ move of precompetitive collaboration in what is a highly competitive retail sector. The announcement builds on the pledge to action on climate under the WWF’s Retailer’s Commitment for Nature group and WRAP’s Courtauld 2030 GHG target, which is aiming to achieve a 50% absolute reduction in emissions associated with UK food and drink by 2030. Harriet Lamb, WRAP’s ceo, said: “We need to transform our food and drink system if we are to stand any chance of achieving our net zero goals and mitigate the worst impacts of the climate crisis. “This is the challenge of our generation, and it is encouraging to see the UK’s leading retailers stepping up to this challenge with focus and determination. We’re looking forward to cracking the nut of consistent measurement and reporting on greenhouse gas emissions in food and drink supply chains (Scope 3) so that we can unlock action to reduce those emissions at pace and at scale.” Kate Norgrove, executive director of advocacy and campaigns at WWF, added: “The food on our plates is driving climate chaos and wreaking havoc on nature – our main ally in the fight against climate change. “Urgent action to address this crisis is non-negotiable and we welcome this key step from leading food retailers to align the sector on climate measurement and reporting. Food businesses must now supercharge the pace of climate action through this programme, to put the food system on a sustainable footing and bring the world back to life.”