Morrisons has committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by  2035 – 15 years ahead of the government’s target – and is establishing its own solar farm to support its ambitions.

Morrisons store with solar panels

Morrisons has established a solar farm to help deliver its net-zero ambitions

The new deadline for its own operations is five years earlier than Morrisons originally pledged. The grocer also aims to reduce Scope 3 emissions – comprising those from areas such as purchased goods and services – in its own-brand supply chain by 2030 and is working with suppliers to help them achieve that.

The grocer, which has been acquired by private equity giant CD&R, said it is already “ahead of forecast in reducing operational carbon emissions”, having delivered a 32% reduction versus a 33% target by 2025. 

As part of the carbon reduction drive, Morrisons said it will become the first supermarket to own and operate its own solar farm across sites such as manufacturing facilities as well as stores. 

The farm, covering 125 acres and with 230,000 panels by 2025, will supply 20% of stores’ power, focused on appliances that require the most energy such as fridges and freezers.

Emissions will also be reduced through initiatives including reducing energy use, low-carbon vehicles and “ensuring zero deforestation” in supply chains. Morrisons said it has “a strong carbon-reduction plan, rather than relying heavily on offsetting”. 

Morrisons chief executive David Potts said: “The climate crisis is the greatest challenge of our generation… As a supermarket, we depend on a healthy planet to produce the goods we sell to customers.

“We’ve committed to removing carbon emissions, rather than setting a carbon-neutral target that would depend heavily on offsetting. We’re also investing resources to bring forward our net-zero commitment by five years, which is very ambitious but very necessary. Our new solar farm and net-zero carbon agriculture programme are just two ways we’ll achieve our commitment.”