Tesco plan may boost start-ups

Tesco’s commitment to becoming carbon neutral and building environmentally-friendly stores has seen it hailed as one of the UK’s greenest companies.

The firm, which is currently bringing forward plans for a new development in Buxton, scooped the Carbon Award at the Guardian Newspaper’s Sustainable Business Awards thanks to its success to date and ambitious plans to become zero carbon by 2050.

Tesco is currently developing its proposals for a new Buxton town centre supermarket, cycle hire centre, shops and restaurants, business start-up incubator, and free car park. Environmental features being considered for the store include roof lights and high-level glazing for natural light, roof air vents, rainwater harvesting and energy produced from waste.

Tesco’s sustainable commitments include cutting emissions, building low-carbon stores, and carbon labelling. Targets include halving its 2006 carbon emissions level by 2020 and ensuring every new store built between 2006 and 2020 has half the emissions of a typical 2006 store.

Tesco has already engaged with farmers and suppliers to verify the carbon footprint of more than 1,000 products, and is now using this data to help customers buy less carbon-intensive products. In the eight years to 2008 the retailer successfully halved its energy use per sq foot of store space in the UK. Across the entire group, CO2 equivalent emissions were cut from 76.51 in 2005 to 54.3 in 2009.

“This award from the Guardian shows how serious we are about our commitment to sustainability – a commitment that will underpin our exciting proposals for Buxton,” said Matt Magee, from Tesco.

“We are designing a unique supermarket for the town centre, which includes using stone, and we will ensure that the proposals include as many environmental features as possible.”

Tesco’s planning application for Buxton is set to be submitted in the coming months.