The John Lewis Partnership this week took a step towards phasing out fossil fuels in its transport fleet by 2030 by announcing plans to build its first on-site biomethane gas filling station at its Bracknell headquarters. The plan, part of its overall strategy to achieve a pledge of moving to net zero carbon by 2050, comes as the retail group says it aims to stop using fossil fuels across its entire transport fleet of 4,800 vehicles by 2030. That will include all of its larger lorries – 600 heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) – moving to biomethane by 2028.
At the new Bracknell, being built in partnership with Air Liquide, about 120 Waitrose heavy goods trucks will be able to run on biomethane made from food waste and food processing waste materials - converting from diesel. This, says the retail group, will reduce CO2 emissions by 80%, with each truck emitting 100 tonnes fewer of CO2 each year - while providing quieter deliveries. Over the next seven years, it says, the Bracknell site alone will save more than 70,000 tonnes of CO2 - or the carbon footprint of more than 13,000 UK households. The retailer also uses existing off-site gas filling stations close to its Lancashire and Northampton regional distribution centres.
Already, says the John Lewis Partnership, it has reduced its total carbon emissions by 6.6% while emissions from transport have fallen by 6.9%.
Justin Laney, partner and general manager of central transport at the John Lewis Partnership, said: “The evidence of climate change is all around us, so it’s important we act now using available technology rather than wait for unproven solutions to appear. We are working hard towards our new aim of removing all fossil fuel from our transport fleet by 2030, which will reduce our carbon emissions by over half a million tonnes and gets us well on the way to our ultimate target of operating a net zero carbon emission fleet.”
At the same time, the partnership is moving its Waitrose refrigerators away from using hydro fluoro carbon greenhouse gases in its cooling systems by 2028.