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29 Mar 2021

Companies that are aligned to climate change- Sainsbury’s

Sainsbury’s, the second largest supermarket chain in the UK has promised to reduce its net carbon emissions to zero by 2040.

For the last six years Sainsbury’s has been awarded an ‘A rating’ for taking action on Climate Change by the CDP, the highest rating of any UK supermarket. 

Sainsbury’s plans to use its £1billion investment to implement a programme of changes with a focus on reducing carbon emissions,food waste, plastic packaging and water usage and increasing recycling, biodiversity and healthy sustainable eating. 

Use of plastic

Sainsbury’s, the UK’s second largest supermarket chain uses nearly 120,000 tonnes of plastic packaging a year and is pledging to slash that figure by 50% by 2025. To meet the goal, Sainsbury’s said it would switch to alternative materials, use lighter-weight plastics whilst also introducing refillable packaging in a larger number of its stores. The company also already replaced 1,200 tonnes of own brand PVC packaging with recyclable alternatives.

 “Our commitment has always been to help customers live well for less. We must recognise that living well now also means living sustainably.” 

Mike Coupe
CEO, Sainsbury’s


In the fight to tackle climate change Sainsbury’s have planted more than 3.8 million trees over a fifteen-year partnership with The Woodland Trust, the UK’s largest woodland conservation charity and will work to plant 1.5 million trees by 2025, which has the potential to eliminate 375,000 tonnes of CO2.

Reduction in Carbon Emissions

Sainsbury’s is improving the energy efficiency of its stores and is increasing the amount of on-site renewable energy (including solar energy) that it uses. The supermarket chain is also working with suppliers to measure their carbon footprint and to reduce their energy use and carbon emissions to help tackle climate change.

Lowering water usage

With regards to water – Sainsbury’s has committed in its Sustainability Plan that it will minimise the use of water in their own operations, driving towards becoming water neutral by 2040. As the first retailer to be certified with the Carbon Trust Water Standard, Sainsbury’s uses 1 billion litres less water annually than in 2005.


Sainsbury’s has pledged to make it easier for customers and colleagues to recycle. The supermarket has introduced a new recycling system where customers can recycle their Polypropylene film, which is found in several household products and is often difficult to recycle at home.

Studies have found that 266,000 tonnes of plastic packaging waste in 2019 came from Polypropylene plastics.

In a bid to reduce this plastic waste, 63 stores in the North East of England will be adopting this trial. If the trial is successful, Sainsbury’s will roll out the Polypropylene recycling system to all of its supermarkets by the end of 2021.

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