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SBTi Validates John Lewis Partnership's Net-Zero Targets

JLP watering plants net zero
  • John Lewis Partnership first UK retailer to have net-zero science-based targets validated by official body
  • First retailer in the world to set validated science-based targets on all greenhouse gas emissions originating from forests, land and agriculture
  • The Partnership aims to reach net-zero greenhouse gases across its own operations by 2035 and across its entire supply chain by 2050

The John Lewis Partnership has become the first retailer in the UK to have its *net-zero **science-based targets validated by the official body that validates climate targets. 

The Science Based Targets initiative ***(SBTi) - the gold standard for setting and monitoring corporate climate targets - has validated the Partnership’s target to become net-zero across its own operations by 2035, and wider supply chain by 2050.

The achievement demonstrates the Partnership’s clear commitment to play our part to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5°C - as called for in the Paris Agreement.

The Partnership, which owns John Lewis and Waitrose, is also the first retailer in the world to have validated SBTi science-based targets focused on greenhouse gas emissions originating from ‘forests, land and agriculture’, which make up part of our total emissions footprint alongside the energy used to run our stores and make our products. 

Our forests, land and agriculture target underpins our Plan for Nature, published last autumn, which commits to a range of initiatives to significantly reduce the impact of our two businesses’ commercial activity on the natural world.

Marija Rompani, Director of Sustainability at the John Lewis Partnership, said:  “Reaching net-zero by 2050 means transforming our business in every way, from how we design our goods to last, how we and our suppliers power our farms, factories and stores, and how we make it easier for our customers to make more sustainable choices. 

“To be the first retailer globally to set forest, land and agriculture science-based targets gives us great pride. It will be the bedrock of our plans to protect and restore nature and tackle the climate crisis over the years to come.”

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*FLAG = Emissions from Forests, Land and Agriculture

Work is under way to sharply decarbonise and includes:

  • Committing to moving all of our vehicles away from fossil fuels within our own operations by transitioning larger vehicles to run on biomethane and smaller vans on electricity. 
  • Where possible, converting the gas boilers that heat our stores to electric-powered heat pumps. 
  • Procuring 100% renewable electricity across all our operations.  
  • Upgrading our fridges to reduce the warming impact of refrigerant gases.
  • Asking larger Waitrose suppliers to set their own net-zero targets.
  • Launching integrated energy efficiency insights on online John Lewis products, so customers can see at a glance how much money they can save by choosing a more efficient product.

Innovation will form a key part of further reductions in emissions going forward such as:

  • Using our Leckford farm to test and demonstrate to farmers that supply us how to lock carbon in the soil and move to more sustainable fuel and energy sources, sharing good practice with our suppliers.
  • Supporting a DEFRA funded project to breed sheep that create fewer methane emissions.
  • Selling more innovative, lower climate impact products, such as Nice Rice
  • Stocking regeneratively produced products, with Waitrose the sole retail partner of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's Big Food Redesign Challenge.

Another element to reducing our emissions footprint is by prioritising circularity in how we design products and services, such as: 

  • Offering fashion rental for occasion and childrenswear. 
  • Developing product standards for longevity, recyclability and use of more sustainable materials. 

Simon Winch, Environment Lead at the John Lewis Partnership, said:  “Coming up with a set of credible targets for our road to net-zero is the culmination of many months of focused work and determined preparation. Validation by SBTi gives us great confidence in the targets and our plans.

“But we know this is only the start. The validation of our science-based targets will turbocharge the change needed in our business to transform how we operate and help ensure that the world remains in sight of limiting global warming to no more than 1.5°C.”

Luiz Amaral, Chief Executive Officer of the Science Based Targets initiative, said:  “Climate science tells us that we need rapid and deep emissions cuts if we are to achieve global net-zero and prevent the most damaging effects of climate change.

“The John Lewis Partnership’s net-zero targets match the urgency of the climate crisis and set a clear example that their peers must follow.” 

Source : John Lewis Partnership

Image : John Lewis Partnership Media Centre

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29 June 2023

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