Tesco boosts green economy

Tesco has announced it will spend over £100m with UK green technology companies, boosting the economy and safeguarding or creating thousands of jobs.

The UK is fast recognising the benefit of green technology and with expertise in research and development, engineering and innovation is well placed to capitalise on the growth of the industry. On the back of the recession, this investment is welcome news for small companies across the country.

Many of the suppliers that initially started working with Tesco in the UK are now providing advice on green technology in Tesco businesses across the world. Products include electric car charging points, CO2 refrigeration and combined heat and power plants that generate green electricity.

The news was announced at the official opening of the worlds first zero carbon supermarket in Ramsey, Cambridgeshire. Tesco has been developing stores with lower carbon footprints since 2005, and Ramsey is the latest step in this journey. The store was built with sustainable wood, LED lighting and a combined heat and power plant powered with renewable fuel. The store has no net carbon footprint and exports back any extra electricity generated to the national grid.

Terry Leahy, Tesco Chief Executive said: “The challenge of climate change can only be faced by collective action. We want to cut our own carbon footprint and help suppliers and customers do the same. We’ll be a zero carbon business by 2050 but only by working with our suppliers and others across the industry.

“I’m proud to be opening the worlds first zero carbon supermarket and I believe it’s no co-incidence that it has opened here in the UK where many of the innovations which make its construction and operation possible were designed and manufactured.”

Business Secretary Lord Mandelson said: “The opening of the world’s first zero carbon supermarket here in the UK is massively exciting and Tesco’s are to be congratulated on this groundbreaking move. Tesco’s commitment to spend £100m with UK green technology companies will give a real boost to our low carbon sectors. 

“The government is determined to work with businesses to make the UK a global leader in the low carbon economy. This demonstrates a step change in how to approach environmental challenges, integrating low carbon building, resource efficiency and even the potential to put energy back into the grid. This zero carbon store is inspirational and is an excellent example of how businesses can respond to consumer demand for low carbon goods and services.”

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