Lidl GB, the global supermarket chain with 12,000 operating stores and more than 200 goods distribution and logistics centres in 31 countries, has announced it is joining the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Retailers’ Commitment for Nature. Signing up for the initiative will see Lidl halve the environmental impact of the average UK shopping basket by 2030.
The initiative was first announced by Tesco and WWF in 2018 with the goal of developing a ‘pioneering’ industry measure of the ecological impact of the average UK shopping basket. The measure was to be based on the ingredients and food customers selected in the store to purchase. This partnership strives to halve the ecological impact of the average UK shopping basket by 2030.
The current data Tesco and WWF are going off is the 2019 statistics. At COP26, four other supermarkets signed on to the commitment. The impact of the shopping baskets is being measured on a life-cycle basis. In addition, a methodology which includes information concerning deforestation, packaging waste, emissions, and food waste.
Also considered is the wider role supply chains play in making more sustainable diets and driving eco-friendly food systems. Lidl GB signing up for the WWF initiative is quite significant since they are the first discount retailer to join the partnership. They will be joining Tesco but also M&S, Co-op, Waitrose, and Sainsbury’s.
What else is Lidl GB to align with the WWF Retailers’ Commitment For Nature?
Lidl GB announced plans to become a carbon-neutral business in 2021, as well as, sharing wider goals to encourage suppliers to set their own climate commitments and reduce their operational emissions. This commitment involves reducing operational emissions by 80 per cent by 2030 compared to 2019 levels in all the countries it operates within. The discount supermarket chain has already begun to focus on curbing carbon emissions from its distribution centres and stores.
They have done this through onsite solar installations at its new stores and investing in low-carbon lighting and refrigeration technologies. Lidl believes sustainability and affordability do not have to be mutually exclusive. They feel sustainability has been a crucial part of their business model for the last number of years. Lidl GB recognises its responsibility to build a better future and will be doing this through investment, active leadership, and innovation.
Globally, the food system is a key contributor to the climate crisis and the leading cause of biodiversity loss. A future without nature is essentially a future without food. Therefore, we need to curb the loss of nature by 2030 to protect our world. The WWF feels we should be part of the solution, which is why they are calling on leading food retailers to commit to taking action across seven areas where food has a disproportionate impact on both nature and climate.
These seven areas include conversation of habitat and deforestation, climate, marine, diets, agricultural production, packaging, and food waste. Retailers joining must also set science-based net-zero targets aligned with 1.5 degrees across all scopes. We are hopeful more retailers and CEOs of leading supermarkets will sign up for the WWF’s initiative to help us tackle the global food system and its adverse effects on the planet.