John Lewis Partnership toughens up carbon target

Retailer aims for 15% absolute cut over ten years, despite ambitious plans for business growth

The John Lewis Partnership will cut its total carbon emissions by 15% over the next ten years, it has announced.

The new absolute target, to be achieved by 2020/21 from a 2010/11 baseline, is the latest move by the company to toughen its carbon reduction strategy.

Although the company has reduced the carbon intensity of its business through improving energy efficiency in its John Lewis and Waitrose stores, the growth of its business means absolute emissions have increased.

In 2010 it opened three new John Lewis stores and plans to open 40 new Waitrose stores each year until 2020. Until now, it had no absolute target to curb emissions growth.

As revealed by ENDS last September, John Lewis Partnership plans to achieve the new target through installing 150 woodchip-fired combined cooling heat and power plants in its stores. Waitrose’s new store in Cowes, Isle of Wight, will later this year become the first to use the technology (ENDS Report, September 2010).

Charlie Mayfield, chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, said: “Our commitment to reducing carbon emissions is not new: we have always been focused on strong and sustainable business growth.  However, the target we have announced today is one that will stretch and challenge the business – particularly considering our ambitious growth plans for the next decade.”

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