The World Wide Fund for Nature has announced that supermarket chain Lidl GB has become the first discounter to sign WWF’s Retailers’ Commitment for Nature – an agreement to work with WWF to halve the environmental impact of the average UK shopping basket by 2030.
Lidl, the UK’s sixth largest supermarket, joins Co-op, M&S, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose, meaning 60% of the UK retail grocery market is now committed to working with WWF towards this target.
With the global food sector driving 60% of deforestation and 30% of greenhouse gas emissions, WWF is working with supermarkets across the UK to address their environmental impacts in seven key areas which make up the WWF Basket: climate, deforestation and conversion of habitat, agricultural production, marine, diets, food waste and packaging.
As well as setting science-based net-zero targets aligned with 1.5 degrees across all scopes, Lidl has also confirmed alignment to WWF's more recent joint retailers’ climate action focused on reducing supply chain emissions.
Tanya Steele, Chief Executive at WWF, said: “Our food system is placing an unbearable toll on the planet: it’s driving climate chaos and fuelling the destruction of nature in the UK and overseas, undermining our resilience and putting our future at risk.
“Tackling the food system’s excessive environmental impact, while continuing to produce healthy and affordable food, is a huge challenge. But driving change from farm to fork and across supply chains that span the globe is an essential step for our food security.
“We welcome Lidl’s decision to join Co-op, M&S, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose in working with WWF to help bring our world back to life, before it’s too late – now we need to see a clear focus on delivery. Success will require all hands on deck – we urge all UK retailers to step up and commit to the WWF Basket target and accelerate action year on year.”
Ryan McDonnell, CEO at Lidl GB said: “As the first UK discounter to work with WWF on this, we’re continuing to demonstrate that affordability and sustainability don’t have to be mutually exclusive.
“Sustainability has been core to the Lidl business model for many years. We firmly believe it is our responsibility, through innovation, investment, and active leadership, to build a better future – for our business, our agri suppliers, the people we interact with and our planet.
“By signing up to the WWF’s Retailers’ Commitment for Nature, we are joining an important movement to make the UK food system more sustainable and build on the momentum of existing initiatives we have in place.”
Data submitted for the inaugural WWF Basket report, What’s in Store for Our Planet: The Impact of UK Shopping Baskets on Climate & Nature, set a baseline for progress, but also showed the size of gap that must be closed if retailers are to meet WWF’s 2030 target.