Opinion: Forget about the haters – retail’s right to go green

Green eco barcode

When retailers unveil great ambitions to set new standards in sustainability, it frequently leads to an outbreak of grumpy whataboutery.

You saw it with Sainsbury’s this week. The grocer, which has achieved a 35% absolute reduction in its carbon footprint over the last 15 years, aspires now to become a net zero business by 2040, putting itself in the vanguard of combating climate change by meeting that target a full 10 years ahead of the Government’s own.

While many warmly welcomed Sainsbury’s commitments, others reacted by attacking perceived shortcomings. ‘What about Sainsbury’s suppliers?’ they carped, arguing that the grocer’s programme was limited to its direct operations and indirect emissions from the electricity it purchases.

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