We know the climate emergency requires radical and urgent action. That’s why our Board set up a Net Zero Taskforce made up of key people from across our business who, together, are helping us formulate our plan to challenge the climate impact of every area of our operations and drive action to reduce it. And to show just how serious we are about tackling climate change; we have a bold ambition to be a Net Zero Greggs by 2040 - ten years ahead of the current UK Government plan. Read more about our ambition to be Net Zero Greggs in The Greggs Pledge.
Building the Eco Shops of the future
We’re always on the lookout for new green technologies that might work for Greggs. We’ve created a template for a shop that incorporates sustainable thinking from the design stage. The template considers how we build our shops, and what we make them out of, as well as the technology and fittings that we install and run inside them. It even considers how we decommission the shop and recycle components from it. This shop of the future template is helping us to push the boundaries of what is possible. We call it our Eco Shop design.
Ideas that we successfully test in an Eco Shop can then be considered for use elsewhere. As well as using them in our new shops, we are also retrofitting our existing shops: by 2025, we want at least a quarter of our stores to feature elements from the Eco Shop design.
Our commitment to plastic reduction
In 2019, we cut 350 tonnes of single-use plastics from our operations and, by 2025, want to eliminate all unnecessary single use plastic from our shops and manufacturing sites. For instance, instead of using clear plastic ‘lifting sheets’ to put a food product into a bag without touching it, we now have reusable tongs. We have also substituted plastic items with more sustainable materials, such as swapping plastic bags for paper bags, plastic cutlery for sustainable wooden cutlery and plastic packaging for cardboard packaging. We’ve even changed our gift cards from plastic to a paper-based alternative.
Proud to be Refill UK’s biggest UK partner
We’ve partnered with Refill UK to provide free drinking water to the increasing number of customers wishing to refill their own bottles: refill.org.uk.
Saving energy and water, and reducing waste
A number of our regional bakeries have photovoltaic panels on their roofs, which in 2019 generated 762,963 kWh of electricity. We install energy-efficient LED bulbs in all new and refitted shops and our new self-service drinks fridges have doors to stop the cool air being lost. We have continued to invest in driver efficiency training for our delivery fleet and this, along with our telematics system which monitors driving performance, continues to improve fuel efficiencies. All of our manufacturing site waste is diverted from landfill and we strive to redistribute as much unsold food as we can from our shops through our Food Donation Programme. Every year we hold an Environment Week to engage all team members in the importance of saving energy and water, and reducing waste. For full details of our scope 1 and 2 emissions, scope 1 and 2 emissions including breakdown of scope 1 emissions categories, and scope 3 emissions click here
Our net carbon footprint for the 2019 financial year was 95,962 tonnes of carbon dioxide and equivalent gases (CO2e), with an intensity of 82.54 tonnes of CO2e per £million turnover. This represents a 17% improvement on our 2018 result. We are on course to achieve a 10% carbon reduction by 2020 and are currently scoping out longer-term targets and Climate Scenario Planning as part of our future sustainability strategy. We disclose our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through the Carbon Disclosure Project on an annual basis and in 2019 achieved a C rating. In 2019 we were again accredited to hold the Carbon Trust Standard in recognition of our work on carbon efficiencies. More information about our emissions can be viewed here
Measuring our success
We use an Environmental Management System to help us minimise the environmental impact of all our operations thoughtfully and systematically. It covers all of our manufacturing sites, retail shops and distribution centres and is helping us to track and meet our targets to cut our carbon emissions and reduce waste. The Environmental Management System is accredited to ISO 140001:2015 which means we are using a recognised and respected framework to guide our actions.
Our external auditors commented that “Greggs should be really proud of what they have achieved. It’s quite unusual for companies in their position to go for certification across their entire Company just because they believe ‘it is the right thing to do’ – a huge achievement and one which should not be under-estimated.”