Supermarket chain Iceland has reduced its operational carbon footprint by nearly three quarters (74%) since 2011, ensuring it is well ahead of schedule to hit the government’s target of being carbon neutral by 2050.

Its footprint has fallen from almost 250,000 tonnes of CO2 in 2011 to just 46,000 tonnes in 2020.

The reduction has been made despite increasing its number of UK stores by 181, and is a result of a £35m investment in more energy efficient equipment while purchasing 100% of its electricity from renewable sources.

Iceland is now on track to becoming carbon neutral by the end of 2042 – eight years ahead of the government’s target. It is now planning to work more closely with its supply chain on carbon reduction.

Iceland MD Richard Walker said: “Our planet is facing an unprecedented, global environmental crisis, and we believe that every business has a responsibility to take action against climate change and reduce its carbon footprint. That is why I am pleased to announce a reduction of 74% in our operational carbon emissions since 2011. We are now well ahead of schedule to be a carbon neutral business much earlier than 2050 and we are working hard to bring forward our current target even further.

“This is the start of formal carbon reporting and our next steps will be to create a project-based approach to working with our suppliers. We will start with measuring and reporting on carbon emissions associated with our own-label packaging.”

Gavin Williams, MD, supply chain – UK and Ireland, XPO Logistics, said: “Like Iceland, XPO has a purpose-driven approach to sustainability. We believe that climate change is best addressed by the coordinated actions of businesses, governments and civil society. We are delighted to be working closely with Iceland in exploring innovative approaches to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in their supply chain.”

Iceland is also calling on government and other businesses to be a force for good in taking urgent action to address the climate and environmental crisis the world faces, supporting plans for a green recovery from Covid-19 in particular.

Walker added: “The government should prioritise the delivery of 100% renewable energy generation while simultaneously incentivising businesses to reduce carbon. It should launch a new green economy skills strategy to support retraining employees from these industries. This also means reimagining infrastructure projects, pushing ahead with greener construction, halving food waste by 2030 and focusing on supply chains.”