Retailers pledge to reduce landfill to less than 1% by 2020


Major UK retailers have signed up to a range of targets for reducing their impact on the environment.

With the launch of the report A Better Retailing Climate: Driving Resource Efficiency, British Retail Consortium members have committed to a new environmental strategy that is designed to make a significant impact on the way our goods are produced, sold and used in the home.


The 25 signatories, that represent half of UK retail by turnover, exceeded all their targets for reducing waste, energy and water usage up to 2013.

But now the supermarkets signed up to the initiative have committed to publish their data on food waste created at the retail stage, along with annual progress reports.

The retails plan to divert less than 1 per cent of waste to landfill by 2020 and reduce emissions from refrigeration gases by 80 per cent by 2020.

British Retail Consortium director general Helen Dickinson said: “Retailers in the UK have made significant progress in reducing their impact on the environment.

“I’m delighted that the signatories are pushing themselves to achieve against even more ambitious commitments, having gone above and beyond the last set of targets.

“The strength of commitment is plain to see when you look at how much progress has been made in the last decade. For example, only 6 per cent of waste was sent to landfill in 2013, down from 47 per cent in 2005.

“But retailers will continue to keep this momentum going. They recognise that it makes business sense and delivers real environmental benefits as well as value for their customers.”

The new targets are:

  • Carbon (retail operations) – signatories will reduce their absolute carbon emissions from retail operations by 25 per cent by 2020 based on 2005 levels
  • Resource efficiency in buildings – signatories will cut energy-related emissions from buildings by 50 per cent by 2020, accounting for growth compared with 2005 levels
  • Refrigeration – signatories will reduce emissions from refrigeration gases by 80 per cent by 2020, relative to floor space. They will begin phasing out HFC refrigerants by 2015 and replace them with non-HFC refrigerant in line with the Consumer Goods Forum Commitment
  • Transport – signatories will reduce energy-related carbon emissions from store deliveries by 45 per cent by 2020, compared with 2005 levels
  • Water (retail operations) – signatories will measure water usage in sites collectively anticipated as accounting for 100 per cent of usage by 2020. They will set a reduction target when the targets are reviewed in 2015.
  • Retail waste – signatories will divert waste from landfill so that less than 1 per cent of waste is landfilled by 2010.

Signatories to the commitment include Argos, ASDA, B&Q, Boots, Debenhams, Greggs, Homebase, John Lewis, M&S, McDonalds, Morrisons, Next, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, The Co-operative, Waitrose and Wickes.

See the report at