Products of Change

DRIVING SUSTAINABLE
CHANGE TOGETHER

Tue 15 Dec 2020 | by Michelle Urquhart

WHSmith commits to net zero

Retailer has reduced absolute carbon emissions by 45% since 2006 and aims to be net zero by 2025 WHSmith has set out its sustainability action plan around three core areas: protecting the planet, looking after its people and supporting the communities it serves. The retailer has reduced absolute carbon emissions from its UK estate by 45% since 2006. Its journey to net zero continues with the objective of reducing operational emissions to zero by 2025 predominantly through a combination of energy efficiency schemes and a switch to renewable electricity procurement. As a final step, any residual emissions that cannot be eliminated will be neutralised through investment in certified carbon removal schemes. The company has also committed to tackling scope 3 emissions and will start by engaging with suppliers to agree pathways to achieve net zero emissions by 2040. The action plan also builds on a long legacy of investment in children’s literacy programmes. Over the past decade, WHSmith has directly helped over 75,000 children to improve their reading and writing skills, through book giveaways, investments in school libraries and its work with the National Literacy Trust. There is still more to be done, however, to bridge the gap in literacy levels between disadvantaged children and their peers, and WHSmith is committing to continue its work in this area with further book giveaways and partnership support for thousands more children and young people who need it most over the next five years. Carl Cowling, group chief executive comments, “We are committed to playing our part to protect the future of our planet and to building on our long-track record of supporting children’s literacy and education. I am immensely proud of how much we have achieved to date, and our new ambitions for 2025 will enable us to focus on delivering even more activity in those areas where we can make the biggest difference to society.” Read the WHSmith Sustainability Report here