John Lewis and Sainsbury’s join retailers making new commitments to sustainable development
25 of the UK’s largest retailers, including Sainsbury’s, John Lewis and IKEA, have joined a campaign to accelerate action towards meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The “Better Retail Better World” campaign, run by the British Retail Consortium (BRC), sets new targets for outlets to act on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, waste, deforestation and inequality by the 2020s.
These are aligned to five of the SDGs: Climate Action, Responsible Consumption and Production; Decent Work & Economic Growth; Reduced Inequalities, and Sustainable Cities & Communities.
Signing up to the campaign means the major retailers now have to publicly disclose the progress towards responsible source practices within the next four years. They will also have to show transparency about their businesses risks and vulnerabilities to climate change.
Richard Pennycook, Chairman of the BRC, said: “This is part of a growing movement for change. It is time for the retail industry to show what it can do for the common good. We are taking collective action to build a better, more prosperous and sustainable world, and demonstrating how we are making a positive contribution to society, in terms of the supply chain, food packaging, and waste”.
The group will also collaborate to reduce deforestation with a target date of no later than 2030 to eliminate this practice within their supply chains. Increasing renewable energy usage and reducing waste that goes to landfill are other key parts of the sustainable campaign.
The government’s Retail Minister, Andrew Griffiths MP, added: "Through our Industrial Strategy and the Good Work Plan, we have already made steps to create a stronger, fairer society, and it’s encouraging to see retailers coming together to fulfil these ambitions through the Better Retail, Better World initiative."
The full list of retailers who signed up this week are: Aldi, Baukjen Group, Boots, C&J Clarks, The Co-op, Debenhams, DFS, Dixons Carphone, Fenwicks, Greggs, The House of Bruar, House of Fraser, IKEA, John Lewis Partnership, Kingfisher, Lidl, M&S, Morrisons, Musgrave Group, Next, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Signet (Ernest Jones, H. Samuel), WHSmith and Wilko.
Progress towards the actions can be found here.