Sainsbury’s promises to reduce net carbon emissions to zero

The plans are set over the next 20 years and include a commitment of £1bn from the supermarket giant

Article updated: 29 January 2020 9:00am Author: Ian Forrest

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  • Mike Coupe, who recently said he’ll soon be stepping down as CEO, announced plans for Sainsbury’s to become a Net Zero emissions business by 2040
  • It has committed up to £1bn towards this which will be used to reduce food waste, plastic packaging and water usage as well as increase the amount of recycling within the business and reduce emissions
  • In the UK this will have particular resonance as the next UN climate change conference is due to take place in Glasgow in November
  • Recommendation: We continue to see the shares as a medium risk Hold for income seeking investors

Supermarket giant Sainsbury’s announced today that it plans to become a Net Zero emissions business by 2040. It has committed up to £1bn towards this which will be used to reduce food waste, plastic packaging and water usage as well as increase the amount of recycling within the business and reduce emissions. The company plans to publicly report on its progress every six months. As the funds required are spread over 20 years the company doesn’t expect the outlay to hinder its efforts to reduce debt.

There was little reaction in the market to today’s announcement but this could be the start of a significant year as companies increasingly respond to pressure from major institutional investors and governments to reduce their emissions. Sainsbury’s has reduced its carbon emissions by 35% over the past 15 years and cutting them further is notable given the intense competition in the supermarket sector. This will have particular resonance in the UK as the next UN climate change conference is due to take place in Glasgow in November. The plan was announced by CEO Mike Coupe who recently said he would be stepping down later in the year. We continue to see the shares as a medium risk hold for income.


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Ian Forrest

Investment Research Analyst

Ian’s background in investments, financial journalism and research has seen him advising private investors on equities and helping to manage portfolios. His qualifications include the Certificate in Financial Planning and the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment’s Investment Advice Diploma.

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