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TCC Global

Retail Focus: Tesco

Our folk take look at the latest first-hand insights and innovations retail.

Seb Hill, Managing Director UK&I

Sustainability Manifesto

Despite the turbulence in the food industry caused by the global pandemic, sustainability remains very near the top of the agenda for food retailers and manufacturers alike. UK market leader Tesco recently shared details of its new sustainability manifesto, highlighting five key areas where it is seeking to make major improvements. These comprise of cutting absolute emissions from energy, supporting the UK’s transition to electric transport, tackling food waste, supporting the sustainable production of food, and helping customers eat healthier, more sustainable diets.

Setting out Tesco’s priorities, Tesco CEO Ken Murphy made the important point that there will be a requirement for both efficiency improvements and cutting-edge innovation if Tesco, and the wider food industry, is to meet its climate change targets: “No one business can tackle these challenges alone. We must take collective action as a food industry to drive the transformational changes necessary to meet the UK’s climate commitments.”

The launch of the manifesto builds on Tesco’s previous endeavours in this space. Three years ago, the company launched its partnership with WWF to halve the environmental impact of food, and tackle some of the most pressing issues connected to food production, including climate change.

The WWF said: “Our global food and farming systems are a major cause of nature’s decline. Retailers and their supply chains have a critical role to play in tackling the climate crisis by reducing emissions and ensuring the food on our plates doesn’t drive nature loss at home and overseas.”

A raft of tangible actions that Tesco is taking to try and meet its manifesto’s objectives include switching to renewable energy across all its operations by 2030, partnering with renewable energy investors to launch new renewable power generation projects, switching to a fully electric delivery fleet by 2028 and rolling out 2,400 electric vehicle charging points for customers across 600 stores.

Food Wastage

One aspect of Tesco’s aspirations that we are particularly passionate about at tcc is that of minimising food waste. Tesco’s own research, which it conducted with food waste charity Hubbub, revealed that food waste in the UK accounts for the same level of carbon emissions as 10 million cars every year, but that one in four people don’t think food waste is a major contributor to climate change.

It highlighted that fact that, in addition to day-to-day food waste, holiday periods are a particularly problematic time for waste with a quarter of households throwing away more food around holidays such as Christmas, Eid, Easter and Diwali.

All in all, this research and similar evaluations make for depressing reading. There are some reasons for optimism though. Tesco and other supermarkets have been actively trying to help their customers minimise food waste and some of these initiatives have yielded some fairly impressive results. For instance, in 2020, Tesco initiated a trial called the ‘No Time For Waste Challenge’ – a programme of educating and inspiring shoppers to try and avoid wasting food. The trial suggested that – with the right information and inspiration – households could reduce the amount of food they wasted by up to 76%.

Tesco’s advice for shoppers to cut down on waste has five main recommendations: better planning of meals and shopping; deploying appropriate storage for different foods; a new approach towards leftovers; better portion control; and using freezers to extend the life of food.

Purpose-based Strategies and Campaigns

tcc has spent 30 years running loyalty and reward campaigns that can provide your customers with the information, inspiration and the equipment they need to start their journey towards reducing food waste. Together with our reward partners such as LocknLock, MasterChef and Guzzini, tcc have created numerous ranges to specifically tackle the reduction of food waste.

In addition to supporting sustainability initiatives, tcc are proud to help our client’s highlight and enhance their other purpose-based strategies and campaigns with our Local proposition. tcc Local mobilises the power and influence of community to encourage mass participation, and grow commercial results, helping to transform local communities most in need.

Following the success of Local campaigns with Rewe in Germany and in various retailers across Italy, tcc recently launched Carrefour’s new community-based loyalty initiative in Belgium. By shopping with Carrefour, its customers can help support specific community sports groups that have struggled through the pandemic. The scheme will see loyal Carrefour shoppers donate vouchers to sports clubs that they can then exchange for vital equipment, embedding Carrefour’s CSR objectives into its marketing and into the hearts and minds of shoppers.

Get in touch to find out how we can work together for a brighter future.

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