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Tesco to Less CO: Can Tesco save the world?

Tesco has been blamed for concreting over the countryside, and running up endless air miles importing food and trucking it the length and breadth of Britain, but is Tesco now leading the business fight back against man-made global warming? I happened to watch this programme on Panorama – one of Britain’s most watched TV shows. This is what Tesco is doing to counter global warming.

With the summit at Copenhagen failing to achieve much it’s time to see what the private enterprise is doing about climate change. The government is committed to cutting emissions by at least a third within 10 years. The progress has been slow. Tesco fears that when those deadlines approach the government could take panic measures. So the company is getting ahead of the game seeing the risk but all also the opportunity to make a difference and even profit from it. It wants to be a green doer and not a mere talker.

Tesco is Britain’s mightiest super market. It wants its customers to fill their trolleys and still be friends with the earth. Tesco is aware that climate change impacts its entire supply chain. It needs to minimize the carbon from cradle to grave of the products on its shelves.

This is what Tesco is doing to minimize its carbon footprint:

Most of the products are now transported by train and not by road. It is also looking at alternate ways of transportation. Tesco is cutting down 9 million miles a year by using the canal to transfers its good from Liverpool to Manchester.

The way the goods reach the store is changing too. Most of the vehicles are powered by natural gas. It eventually wants to power all its vehicles using methane – which is produced by rotting fruits and vegetables. The waste that used to go to the landfill will now power Tesco’s fleet.

Operational data like average speed, braking etc is processed for each truck and the driver receives a report with personal tips of efficient driving. Tesco predicts that the fuel bill will drop by 7% because of this resulting in less emissions and more fuel economy.

Tesco also wants to cut its energy consumption in half by the way it builds and operates a store. The roofs are designed to allow more natural light. Recycled vegetable oil is used to bake bread rolls and water for the toilets comes from rain water harvesting.

Tesco also encourages its customers to reuse their carry bags, rewarding them with loyalty points for every bag they reuse.

The real challenge lies in going green without letting go of its commercial clout. Tesco has initiated the change and as its famous tag line goes - ‘Every little helps’.


What TESCO is doing is great thing. Whether Govt will pressure or not pressure, it is everybody's responsibility to cut the emission and contribute towards the greener earth.

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