Mar 14, 2018

UK retail industry consortium aims to reduce emissions, deforestation, and waste

UK
Sustainability
Sophie Chapman
2 min
Firms such as M&S, Wilkso, John Lewis, IKEA and Lidl join Better Retail Better World
A consortium made up of more than 25 retail companies based in the UK has pledged to tackle some of the largest global challenges, including...

A consortium made up of more than 25 retail companies based in the UK has pledged to tackle some of the largest global challenges, including environmental impact.

The firms have signed the Better Retail Better World pledges and have committed to share knowledge and progress throughout the initiative, making the retail industry one of the first to tackle the issue on such a large scale.

The consortium aims to achieve its goals, highlighted by the United Nations in its Sustainable Development Goals, by 2020.

The three main targets are to prevent modern slavery in supply chain, support underrepresented people in the industry, and reduce waste, greenhouse gas emissions, and deforestation.

“This is part of a growing movement for change. It is time for the retail industry to show what it can do for the common good,” stated Richard Pennycock, Chairman of the consortium.

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“We are taking collective action to build a better, more prosperous and sustainable world, and demonstrating how we are making a positive contribution to society, in terms of the supply chain, food packaging, and waste.”

The consortium includes Aldi, Baukjen Group, Boots, C&J Clarks, The Co-op, Debenhams, DFS, Dixons Carphone, Fenwicks, Greggs, The House of Bruar, House of Fraser, IKEA, John Lewis Partnership, Kingfisher, Lidl, M&S, Morrisons, Musgrave Group, Next, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Signet (Ernest Jones, H. Samuel), WHSmith and Wilko.

"Retail is a driving force for our economy and our recently launched Retail Sector Council will seek to boost the industry’s economic health and sustainable growth,” commented Andrew Griffiths, Retail Minister.

“Through our Industrial Strategy and the Good Work Plan, we have already made steps to create a stronger, fairer society, and it’s encouraging to see retailers coming together to fulfil these ambitions through the Better Retail, Better World initiative."

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May 13, 2021

All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency

schools
energyefficiency
Renewables
Dominic Ellis
2 min
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only UK regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil

Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.

Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.

According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.

Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.

“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."

He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."

North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).

The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.

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