Retail to hit net zero by 2040


Sixty-three leading retailers have come together to support the BRC Climate Action Roadmap which aims to bring the retail industry and its supply chains to Net Zero by 2040.

This follows an announcement made earlier in the year where twenty major retailers signed a declaration to develop the Climate Action Roadmap to tackle the causes of climate change. The BRC believes that with support from Government, the retail industry can decarbonise stores by 2030, deliveries by 2035 and products by 2040.

The Climate Action Roadmap sets out five areas of action:

  • Putting decarbonisation at the core of all business decision making
  • Reducing carbon emissions from shops and distribution centres
  • Moving to net zero logistics operations
  • Increasing sustainably sourced products
  • Helping customers and employees to live low carbon lifestyles

By 2040 the British public can expect to buy or rent products knowing they have minimal impact on the climate. The future is exciting, from algae-based carbon-absorbing clothes; shops and cafes powered by energy captured from customers’ footsteps; to drone delivery and even products ‘printed’ at home by 3D printers. The opportunities to reduce carbon emissions in retail are huge.

However, for this vision to be realised, and for the UK to be a global leader in the transition to a zero-carbon world, the retail industry and Government must work in partnership.

The roadmap builds upon the Better Retail Better World campaign whereby retailers are leading the charge to meet some of the biggest global challenges of the coming decade. The launch of the Climate Action Roadmap begins a twenty-year journey through which the industry will combat climate change and help customers live low carbon lifestyles. The plans for the roadmap will be outlined in detail at the UNFCCC Race to Zero Dialogues on 10th November 2020.

Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium said, “By 2040, we want every UK customer to be able to be able to make purchases – in store and online – safe in the knowledge that they are not contributing to global heating.”

Chris Stark, chief executive of the Committee on Climate Change said, “Through the BRC Climate Action Roadmap, retailers are setting a world-leading industry ambition to reach net zero emissions. It’s a fundamental goal, requiring bold leadership from government and from commerce – I highly commend each retailer who supports this initiative.”

Gareth Redmond-King, head of climate change at WWF said, “Business has a huge role to play in tackling the climate crisis – every business leader must decide urgently whether they are working towards a 1.5 degree future, and stand up and be counted. The BRC and its members are leading the way with this bold commitment. As customers, let’s show our support to the businesses making this commitment. And as citizens let’s call on government to work with the BRC and other corporate leaders to help deliver on it, and bring other businesses along with them.”


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