Co-op chief executive Steve Murrells is set to lead as the chair of the British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) new Climate Action Roadmap steering group.
Murrells will head up the new group alongside other retail executives from Sainsbury’s, Iceland, Ikea, Mountain Warehouse, Dunelm and Feelunique.
The new group is aiming to help the retail industry and supply chains reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2040, with member retailers having set out plans to decarbonise stores by 2030 and deliveries by 2035.
The BRC revealed carbon emissions from retailers have dropped by 49 per cent since 2005, far exceeding the target of a 25 per cent absolute reduction.
“Global society is facing a monumental climate crisis, entirely of its own making. We must all recognise that we are in part responsible and that we all have to do more to foster change and do it more quickly,” Murrells said.
“The global response to the pandemic has shown us what we can achieve when the need is great and urgent enough.
“The required levels of cooperation needed to tackle climate change are unprecedented and the BRC Roadmap will help unify UK retailers around a common purpose.
“Building on our own climate commitments to get to net-zero by 2040 at the latest, I’m honoured to be leading the Climate Action Roadmap steering group to help bring about bold and collective action across our industry and play a part in making things fairer for our planet.
“It’s also a matter of pride that it’s the UK retail sector that is going first and leading the world with this type of collaboration.”
BRC head of sustainability Peter Andrews added: “It’s a fantastic achievement to have halved greenhouse gases from our stores and lorries in little over a decade.
“However, we recognise we can do much more by helping drive decarbonisation across our supply chains and supporting our customers, the British public, to live lower carbon lifestyles through the products they buy.
“Our Climate Action Roadmap sets out our path to net-zero operations and supply chains by 2040.”