Co-op reduces carbon emissions with £1.3m farming fund

The Co-op has partnered with a rain harvesting project in the Galapagos and five new net-zero farms to support them with grants for the first round of their Carbon Innovation Fund.

A total of 14 projects have been awarded a combined £1.3 million from the Co-op Foundation, which aims to reduce carbon emissions in the food, farming, and aquaculture sectors through innovative methods.

The carbon innovation fund is a total £3 million partnership, part-funded through the sale of compostable carrier bags in Co-op stores. It is the largest partnership of its kind between the retailer and a charity.

READ MORE: Co-op partners with Microsoft to launch new platform to tackle food waste

Nick Crofts, CEO of the Co-op Foundation, said: “We created the Carbon Innovation Fund to encourage innovation and help tackle emissions in the food and farming industries – and what an incredible first 14 projects we’re funding.

“From Cornwall to Malawi, we’re working with our new partners to create sustainable change and develop inventive solutions to complex issues. We cannot wait to see what our partners achieve as they co-operate to make our world a better place to live.”

The Carbon Innovation Fund follows Co-op’s own commitment to become a net zero business by 2040. It is dedicated to improving the sustainability of its products, reducing food waste, and decreasing plastic packaging.

Verity Warnecke, head of climate change at the Co-op, added: “We are facing into a climate and environment crisis, and we have to recognise that we all need to do more, and quicker.

“The Carbon Innovation Fund forms part of the action we are taking, it supports doing something different and encourages innovation that can be shared to benefit society in general – and the first round of funding does exactly that.

“It’s this type of co-operation which is needed across the world to help accelerate our response to the climate crisis if we are going to have a natural environment which we are proud to pass on to future generations.”

The £3 million carbon innovation fund will run over the next three years.

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