Loblaw Cos., Canada’s largest food and drug retailer, aims to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2040.
Brampton, Ontario-based Loblaw announced the plan yesterday as part of several initiatives addressing climate change. The company noted that a target set in 2016 to cut corporate carbon emissions 30% by 2030 was met in 2020, driven by advancements in energy management, equipment conversions and addressing refrigerant leaks.
That momentum now will be extended into Loblaw’s franchised networks and distribution centers and, eventually, to its supplier network. Loblaw said this will create a long-term roadmap: achieving net-zero GHG emissions for Scope 1 and 2 emissions (involving the company’s operational footprint) by 2040 and attaining net-zero status for Scope 3 emissions (including those generated by suppliers) by 2050.
“Having met major milestones reducing our carbon footprint and waste, we are now squarely focused on the next challenge: net zero,” Loblaw Cos. Chairman and President Galen Weston said in a statement. “It will see us deploy electric trucks, efficient heating and cooling, alternative energy and innovative methods ahead. The need for action is as clear as our ambition, and it reflects the long-term vision our company has held across generations.”
Loblaw said its updated emissions targets reflect the Science-Based Targets Initiative and the Paris Agreement on worldwide climate change. The goal is to achieve a “1.5°C future,” or to limit the worldwide temperature rise to 1.5° Celsius to lessen the impact of global warming. Similarly, the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) aims to help companies delineate a clearly defined pathway to cut GHGs, help prevent the worst impacts of climate change and future-proof business growth.
Other Loblaw objectives addressing climate change include eliminating food waste sent to landfills by 2030; reducing plastic waste by ensuring that all plastic packaging for own brands, such as President's Choice, are reusable or recyclable by 2025; advancing industry efforts like the Consumer Goods Forum’s global Golden Design Rules; and transitioning to a zero-emission truck fleet by 2030.
Loblaw added that its environmental, social and governance (ESG) responsibility plan also includes commitments to improved leadership representation, an inclusion training program for its workforce of 200,000 Canadians, and ongoing initiatives to address childhood hunger and women's health.
Overall, Loblaw’s retail network encompasses 2,438 stores, including 545 corporate-owned supermarkets under multiple banners, 551 franchised grocery stores and 1,342 Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix associate-owned drugstores.