The Environmental Investigation Agency, (EIA), have recently announced the results of their 2008 survey on supermarket refrigeration - and we're delighted to say that we came top.
The cooling gases that are used in commercial refrigeration systems pose a huge threat to the environment - the main gases, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), are thousands of times more powerful than carbon dioxide in terms of global warming impact. In 2005, it was estimated that the major UK supermarkets emitted HFCs that were equivalent to 2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide – that’s like flying from London to New York over 2.5 million times.
So, in 2007, Marks & Spencer and a number of other supermarkets announced that we were moving away from HFCs. Last year, the EIA decided to see if we were making progress with these commitments, and carried out a survey of 11 UK supermarkets.
Their findings, published recently, put us at the top of the table.
The EIA described M&S as ''the most proactive in meeting the challenge to phase out HFCs'', thanks to our supplier training programme, which we're helping to fund.
We’ve converted 11 stores and 5 of our 7 food warehouses, with the remaining 2 warehouses being converted by the end 2010/11. We’re pleased with this progress, but there’s still some way to go. Our remaining commitments are to:
It’s a big piece of work, but we’re committed to it – and, when we’ve finished, it’ll mean a massive reduction in our impact on the environment. Which is what Plan A is all about.