• Retailers meet carbon emissions targets two years early
  • Carbon emissions from leading retailers cut by one third since 2005
  • New signatories to Better Retail Better World include leading fashion retailers

Leading retailers have been making huge progress in reducing their impact on the environment. This includes reducing carbon emissions by over a third and cutting the proportion of waste sent to landfill to just 2%.

Almost thirty retailers have signed up to the Better Retail Better World initiative, coming together to meet some of the biggest global challenges of the coming decades highlighted by the UN, including modern slavery and decent work, sustainable economic growth, inequalities, climate change and responsible consumption and production. Using the widely recognised United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as a framework, clear, transparent and measurable goals developed with businesses and campaigners are at the heart of the initiative.

Better Retail Better World brings together almost thirty leading retailers who want to take a stand for people and the environment. The latest firms to join included Missguided and New Look.

Carbon emissions were reduced 36% in absolute terms, far surpassing the 2020 Target of 25%. Relative to shop floorspace, carbon emissions from stores, and energy-related carbon emissions from store deliveries were down 67% and 47% respectively. Efforts to tackle carbon reduction include the use of biofuels and renewable energy across the supply chain. Many retailers have set their own strict targets to bring down their carbon use.

Better Retail Better World targets


2020 Target

Measuring water use



Reduced energy-related carbon emissions from store deliveries (relative to shop floorspace)



Proportion of waste sent to landfill (absolute figure)



Reduced carbon emissions from stores (relative to shop floorspace)



Reduced greenhouse gas emissions from refrigeration (relative to shop floorspace / Supermarkets only)



Reduced carbon emissions (absolute figure)





Other Environmental targets



Reduced amount of waste (relative to shop floorspace)



Reduced amount of water used in stores (relative to shop floorspace)



Reduced carbon emissions from transport (absolute figure)




While there has been great progress in some areas, such as carbon reduction, other areas, such as transport emissions and greenhouse gases from refrigeration continue to need more work.

Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, said:

“We are facing a climate emergency; it is ever more important for businesses to unite to tackle these global challenges. While we can see significant progress being made, we should not underestimate the scale of the challenge before us.

“The public want to know that the food they eat, the clothes they wear and the goods they buy, are ethically made and responsibly sourced. Better Retail Better World brings together retailers to collaboratively play their part in creating a sustainable future.”

Nitin Passi, Founder and CEO of Missguided, said:

“Collaboration between retailers to deliver on UN Sustainable Development Goals and address the challenges our industry faces in sustainability, ethical supply chains, and workers’ rights, is more than just vital – it’s the only way to bring real, lasting change.

“That’s why here at MISSGUIDED, we’re committed to the Better Retail Better World initiative so we can make progress together. And because we know that’s important to our customers, it makes it important to us.”