Morrisons leads by example over net zero and farming ahead of COP26 – The Yorkshire Post says

THE statement of intent by Yorkshire supermarket giant Morrisons is a significant one ahead of the forthcoming COP26 climate change summit.

Morrisons has brought forward its commitment to be net zero carbon emissions from its own operations by 2035, five years earlier than initially pledged and 15 years ahead of the UK government target. As part of its carbon reduction plan Morrisons will become the first supermarket to own and operate its own solar †̃farmâ€TM. The †̃farmâ€TM will become the latest addition to Morrisons sites and infrastructure giving increased control over its operations and costs.

By announcing that it intends to be ‘net zero’ by 2035, five years earlier than intended, it is leading by example as Britain looks to eliminate carbon emissions by 2050.

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And US-based private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, who acquired Morrisons this month in a £7bn deal, will be hoping that this commitment is rewarded by the loyalty of climate conscious customers.

Solar panels on a Morrisons supermarket.

But the significance is much more profound than solar panels on its stores. For, by looking to plan its supply chain routes to cut road miles, this stance benefits local farmers and food producers.

Not only does it include a commitment to become first supermarket to be directly supplied by ‘net zero’ carbon farms by 2030, but Morrisons wants to play its “full part in growing and developing British agriculture, fishing and food production to strengthen the nation’s food security”.

A legacy of the late Sir Ken Morrison, the founding father of the Bradford retail institution, and his ‘buy British’ ethos, it is to be hoped that the supermarket’s new owners provide regular updates on its progress to help inform consumers and public opinion.

More fundamentally, rival supermarkets should be pressed to respond in kind while Boris Johnson takes the opportunity to showcase the example being set by Morrisons when he attempts to galvanise world leaders at COP26 to go faster, and further, than ever before in the global fight against climate change.

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