Marks & Spencer, Missguided and Next are among 20 UK retailers that have joined a new commitment to tackle the causes of climate change – including their supply chains – to try to accelerate progress to a Net Zero UK ahead of the government’s 2050 target.
Spearheaded by the British Retail Consortium (BRC), the retailers have signed a declaration that commissions the creation of a roadmap that will provide them with the guidance and support necessary to decarbonise.
“We recognise that as retailers we are uniquely placed to support the UK’s journey to a low carbon future. That is why we are focusing our efforts on three key groups,” the BRC Climate Statement says.
“Firstly, we commit to driving forward decarbonisation in our shops, distribution centres and logistics operations, building upon our work over the last decade. Second, we commit to driving down emissions in our supply chains. And finally, we will help to guide our customers towards dramatically lowering their own carbon footprint, while continuing to deliver an outstanding retail experience.”
The group will publish its roadmap and further commitments in the run-up to the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow.
“Climate change remains one of the biggest threats to the planet. As we start to recover from the coronavirus pandemic there is no better opportunity to build a greener more sustainable world,” says Peter Andrews, head of sustainability policy at the British Retail Consortium.
“Retailers, suppliers, and customers all have their part to play in reducing their carbon emissions. This roadmap will be the first step towards a better, more sustainable future. It will then be up to wider industry and government to implement the recommendations it set out.”
Also among the signatories are Amazon, TJX UK, Ikea, and supermarket retailer Morrisons.
The declaration comes amid calls for the global textile and apparel industry to ‘build back better’ from the Covid-19 pandemic by increasing efforts to transition to a circular economy.
Last month, Swedish fashion giant H&M Group signed a pledge committing to accelerate the transition to a circular economy – which environmental sustainability manager Cecilia Brannsten told just-style will be key to enabling a more resilient future for fashion.
Meanwhile, three leading apparel organisations have outlined seven key measures they believe are necessary for a green recovery of the European clothing and footwear industry over the next one to five years – including a shift in demand towards greener choices and circularity and supporting innovative low-carbon activities.