Comments to be attributed to John Perry, managing director at SCALA:

“The news that Sainsbury’s is set to go net-zero by 2040 – a full decade earlier than some of its competitors, and indeed the UK as a whole – is extremely welcome. That said, the announcement is somewhat undermined by the notable omission of any concrete pledges to improve the environmental credentials of Sainsbury’s supplier network, which is responsible for most of the chain’s emissions. 

“To create net-zero pledges that achieve major, long-term gains, businesses should ensure their environmental stance is properly reflected by their supplier network, which means partnering with suppliers that share their sustainability values and goals. 

“To this end, businesses should prioritise longer-term and more strategic relationships with their partners, as this will in turn support longer-term thinking and subsequent investment into sustainability initiatives. Establishing and communicating expectations through a supplier code of conduct is a particularly effective way for businesses to involve suppliers in their sustainability efforts.

“By working in close partnership with their suppliers, businesses can drive a cleaner, greener future for the planet while substantially improving their reputation and bottom line.”