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Supermarkets: Environment Protection

Volume 476: debated on Monday 2 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he is taking to assess the effects of the activities of supermarkets on the size of the UK’s carbon footprint. (207068)

Supermarkets will be subject to the Government’s mandatory Carbon Reduction Commitment cap and trade scheme, which will lead to reductions in electricity use and direct energy use CO2 emissions (as well as requiring large non-energy intensive organisations such as supermarkets to annually report those energy use emissions).

As well as taking action to reduce the direct CO2 emissions from their own activities (including their storage, display and transport of products), the supermarkets are also to be influential in reducing the embedded emissions associated with the whole supply chain of products consumed in the UK, including their production, manufacture, packaging and disposal.

DEFRA, together with the Carbon Trust, is also sponsoring the BSI to develop a Publicly Available Specification—a method for the assessment of the lifecycle green house gas emissions of goods and services. This involves working with a number of retail outlets. The specification will be published later this year.