John Lewis: UK's First Net-Zero Retailer

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by KnowESG
KnowESG_John Lewis Partnership net-zero science-based targets
Image courtesy of John Lewis Partnership

The John Lewis Partnership has achieved a significant milestone by becoming the first UK retailer to have its net-zero science-based targets officially validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), the gold standard for corporate climate goals.

The SBTi has verified the Partnership's ambitious plan to achieve net-zero emissions across its own operations by 2035 and its wider supply chain by 2050, aligning with the Paris Agreement's call to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C.

What sets the Partnership apart is that it is also the world's first retailer to have SBTi-validated science-based targets specifically focused on greenhouse gas emissions from 'forests, land, and agriculture.'

This move aligns with the Partnership's Plan for Nature, which outlines initiatives to significantly reduce the impact of its commercial activities on the natural world.

Marija Rompani, the Director of Sustainability at the John Lewis Partnership, expressed pride in being the first retailer to set such forest and agriculture targets, as it forms the foundation of their efforts to protect and restore nature while tackling the climate crisis.

The Partnership's commitment to decarbonisation is evident through several initiatives, including transitioning its vehicles away from fossil fuels, upgrading fridges to reduce refrigerant gas emissions, and procuring 100% renewable electricity.

Moreover, the company encourages its larger suppliers to set their own net-zero targets and promotes energy efficiency insights to its customers to help them make sustainable choices.

Innovation will play a crucial role in further emission reductions, with plans to test and demonstrate sustainable farming practices at the Leckford farm and support projects that reduce methane emissions from livestock.

Circularity is also prioritised in product and service design, with initiatives like fashion rental, developing product standards for longevity and recyclability, and stocking regeneratively produced products.

Simon Winch, Environment Lead at the John Lewis Partnership, emphasised that the validation of their science-based targets is just the beginning, as the company is determined to transform its operations to align with the urgent need for climate action.

Luiz Amaral, CEO of the Science Based Targets initiative, praised the Partnership's net-zero targets as an example that other businesses must follow to achieve rapid and meaningful emissions cuts and address the pressing challenges posed by climate change.

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Source: John Lewis

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