Tesco, the UK’s largest retailer by sales, to commit the company to use 100% renewable electricity by 2030, which the responsible investment pressure group, ShareAction, said was partly due to the influence of investors.
Tesco has become one of the latest major companies to join the global RE100 initiative and  ShareAction has been among those engaging with Tesco to encourage it to take this step. Last year an investor coalition the group coordinates wrote to Tesco’s CEO to highlight the benefits of joining the RE100 initiative and the issue was raised at the retailer’s 2016 AGM.
Clare Richards, Campaigns Manager at ShareAction said:  “This is testimony to the power of investor engagement and a well-crafted AGM question.”
Outlining Tesco carbon reduction plans on its website Kené Umeasiegbu, head of climate change and sustainable agriculture at Tesco, wrote that the company would be aiming to achieve zero carbon emissions with reductions of 35% by 2020, 60% by 2025 and 100% by 2050.
Tesco 100% renewable electricity
Investor group welcomes Tesco commitment to 100% renewable electricity target

Tesco will switch to 100% renewable electricity in the UK and Ireland this year. ShareAction said for Tesco’s UK and Ireland stores alone, the shift accounts for almost 1% of the UK’s total electricity consumption. This is part of the company’s commitment to the Paris climate change agreement and to limiting the global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees.

Umeasiegbu said: “This plan balances price stability, cost-effectiveness and support for creating additional renewable capacity. Investor support and ShareAction’s work, including direct engagement with our leadership, helped amplify strategic conversations and accelerate this journey.”
Richards said: “There is a clear business case for phasing out reliance on fossil fuels and transitioning to renewable electricity. In setting its own timeline to source 100% renewable electricity by 2030, Tesco is sending an important message that it sees its future business stability and profitability in driving down emissions at pace.”
To achieve the RE100 goal of 100% renewable electricity companies must match 100% of the electricity used across their global operations with electricity produced from renewable sources – biomass (including biogas), geothermal, solar, water and wind – either sourced from the market or self-produced.
Originally launched in 2014 there are now 94 global companies which have made the RE100 commitment including Apple, AstraZeneca, Marks & Spencer and Microsoft. Manifest reported last October that a survey of FTSE 100 companies by CarbonClear found that 10 of them had made the RE100 commitment by 2016.
Last Updated: 21 May 2017
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