By Steve Murrells, Co-op CEO

Yesterday I spoke at the UN Race to Zero event to celebrate the launch of the BRC’s Climate Action Roadmap. This Roadmap is a world first and reflects the collective ambition of the UK retail sector to reach Net Zero carbon emissions by 2040.

The Roadmap addresses direct emissions from operations such as energy and logistics, as well as the global emissions from products. It also provides a collective view of the common challenges and opportunities to reach the target. 

If coronavirus has taught us anything, it’s that collaboration works. The power of what’s possible when we come together against the odds continues to amaze me.

The Roadmap is a great example of co-operation in action and I’m proud that we’ve played our part in its development alongside other retailers. It’s already got the support of sixty major retailers including IKEA, M&S, Sainsburys, Next and The Body Shop which is a great start. 

That said, new ways of thinking and unprecedented co-operation will be needed to deliver the ambition. We’re ready to take action at Co-op. Tackling climate change has long been one of our priorities and we’ve already signed the UN Global Compact ‘We mean business’ coalition.

I said at our AGM this year that now is the time to be bold and the time to act. I hope you all agree that this is the right course to take so we can protect people and the planet for today and tomorrow. We can and we must do this before it’s too late. 

Join the conversation! 6 Comments

  1. I applaud your commitment to net zero, however, I would suggest that 2040 is too late and not ambitious enough. Sweeping changes could be made with product packaging, insentivising colleagues to use active travel and addressing the sustainability of the products we sell. I would also suggest that the reduction of Environmental impacts could become our fourth pillar along side access to food, education and health & wellbeing. It would be great as a Member Pioneer to be able to champion local environmental and ecological initiatives.

  2. Some of my store team fill the kettle in the tea room all the way to the top every time it is boiled. They even go into the tea room and boil it when its full just in case someone goes for their break so it already hot. Can we get stickers to put on the kettle to say how important it is to only boil what you need?

    • Hi Alan, thank you for your comment – it’s great to hear your thoughts on how all colleagues can play a part in reducing our collective impact as a business. We’ve passed your comment on to the team working on our Climate Change agenda for discussion as we feel it’s important to help everyone know how their small changes can add up to a big difference together.

  3. Completely agree with this – however we made a commitment on Dec 30th last year that “All own brand will be recyclable by summer 2020”. Granted its not been a “normal” year, but you can still go in to any store and buy lots and lots of own brand items that clearly state “Not recyclable”. We need to make the commitments yes, but also deliver on them. Can an update be provided on this commitment?

    • Due to disruption this year we had to push our commitment back. You may remember back in September we shared an update on our closed loop film recycling trial (see link below) that is currently taking place in 50 stores. This recycling scheme will support our ambition to make every single Co-op product easy to recycle either via kerbside collection or an in-house closed loop system by the end of 2021.
       
      Just last week, we shared an update on our Future of Food (see link below) ambition, which includes a summary of our ‘Action on Plastic’ and the steps we have taken this year on sourcing and creating with care. Within that article, we mentioned that we’re planning to provide a film recycling collection point in every community.
       
      We plan to share even more updates in the coming months, so please stay tuned.

      https://colleaguestories.coop.co.uk/2020/09/08/clean-it-scrunch-it-bin-it/
      https://colleaguestories.coop.co.uk/2020/11/06/celebrating-two-years-of-the-future-of-food/

  4. It is things like this that make me proud to say I work for Coop

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