John Lewis takes deeper dive into sustainability
The John Lewis Partnership is setting itself some lofty targets on the sustainability front, saying that “we’re going back to our roots and focusing our efforts on protecting and restoring nature”.
The retail giant has announced 10 key commitments to reduce the impact of its commercial activities on the environment. This includes plans for the department store arm’s ‘buy back or take back’ schemes in all product categories by 2025, while also continuing to develop more rental and resale options.
Headlining will be its commitment to zero deforestation in the sourcing of key commodities across John Lewis's and sister brand Waitrose's own-product supply chains.
It is also investing £2 million to fund ecosystem protection and regeneration projects in Norfolk in the UK and in India -- the company's two key sourcing regions -- through a new and exclusive partnership with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
The company also aims to eliminate fossil fuels use across its transport fleet by 2030 and convert all its heavy trucks to biomethane fuel in 2028.
Its greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural processes at its Leckford Estate farm in Hampshire are expected to reach net zero by 2024 and other UK supplier farms will achieve this by 2035.
Other commitments include funding sustainable water management programmes in key fresh-produce sourcing areas; as mentioned, developing more rental, resale and return opportunities for customers; and halving food waste across its operations, supply chains and households by 2030.
Marija Rompani, director of ethics and sustainability at John Lewis Partnership, said: “The crises of nature loss and climate change are inextricably linked. And yet, the UK currently languishes in the bottom 10% of global countries for its abundance of nature. That’s unacceptable and given the tiny window in which we have to get this right, delaying action is simply not an option.
"This is why we’re going back to our roots and focusing our efforts on protecting and restoring nature. Whether it’s eliminating fossil fuel use across our transport operations, investing millions in conservation projects in regions where we source our products, or helping our farmers make the transition to net zero, we are acting where we can make the biggest impact.
“And these principles will apply to everything we sell, including our entry level Essential Waitrose and John Lewis Anyday ranges -- ensuring products made with sustainable values are accessible to all our customers.”
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