The John Lewis Partnership has pledged to reduce its operational greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 at the latest, without purchasing offsets, in line with the pathway set by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to limit global warming to 1.5C.

The partnership will initially focus on making significant emissions reductions in the vital period of the next 10 years to decarbonise its operations as much as possible, as quickly as possible. By 2028, it will remove a third of carbon from its operations through a significant investment in new refrigeration technology, biomethane-powered trucks, electric vans and renewable electricity. This is expected to result in CO2 savings equivalent to removing 16,000 petrol cars from the road every year.

The new targets build on significant emissions reductions already achieved, including a -70% reduction in emissions achieved last year against a 2010 baseline - two years before the 2020 deadline the company had set itself.

To reduce transport emissions, which contribute over 40% of its overall carbon footprint, the partnership has set an ambitious target of zero carbon fleet by 2045, and is working on encouraging sustainable travel across the business and to its locations. 

To reduce emissions from its physical estate, the partnership has committed to reducing its energy use by a quarter and ensuring electricity across all its sites will be 100% renewable and British-sourced by 2028.

Benet Northcote, partner and director of corporate responsibility, says: “We recognise that urgent action is needed to keep global warming below 1.5C to avoid the most dangerous impacts of climate breakdown, and we are responding with our most ambitious set of targets yet, aiming to decarbonise as much as we can in the next 10 years and setting out a clear path to becoming a net zero operation. It’s of paramount importance to us as a co-owned business to ensure the partnership is prepared for the future. We are now only one generation away from 2050 and we are committed to playing our part in transitioning to a zero carbon future.”