We’ve been measuring our annual operational carbon footprint since 2012, to provide us growing insight into where our largest climate impacts are and set appropriate and positive ambitions.

We aim to continually improve the transparency of our GHG data each year, however this year our GHG emissions performance, like many, was impacted by the global Covid-19 pandemic. In financial year 2020 our headlines were:

  • A 15.2% decrease in our absolute Location Based emissions to 7,426 Tonnes CO2e. This is a result of reduced gas consumption at our head office, an improvement in electrical efficiency in our stores and a decline in the emission intensity of grid electricity, especially in the UK.
  • A 4.8% increase in our normalised Location Based emissions to 10.5 Tonnes CO2e / £m revenue). This owes to the reduction in revenue seen, but despite this we have still seen a 41.5% reduction in our normalised location-based emissions compared with our FY14 baseline year (18.0 Tonnes CO2e / £m Revenue), continuing our long term trend of reduced environmental impact.

A detailed breakdown of our emissions for financial year 2020 are shows in the table below. However please note we have amended our process of reporting this year to account for challenges related to Covid-19 at the time of calculating our emissions:

  • We are delaying release of Scope 3 emissions to later in the year. These figures will be published here later in 2020.
  • Although we have followed rigorous internal checking processes on accuracy, we have not assured our Carbon Emissions to the AA1000 Assurance Standard, as in prior years. We will instead have our FY20 and FY21 emissions externally verified at the same time later in 2021.

Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Tonnes CO2 equivalents)


  FY19 (1 May 2018 to 30 April 2019) FY20 (1 Ma 2019 to 30 April 2020)
Scope 1: Combustion of fuel and operation of facilities 301 163
Scope 2: Electricity, heat, steam and cooling purchased for own use – Location based method 8,457 7,264
Scope 2: Electricity, heat, steam and cooling purchased for own use – Market based method 149 200
Total of Scope 1 & 2 Emissions (Location based Scope 2 emissions) 8,758 7,426
% Change on FY19 -15.2%
Emissions Efficiency (Location based Scope 2 emissions) (Tonnes CO2e / £m Revenue) 10.05 10.53
% Change on FY19 +4.8%

GHG emission methodology

We have reported on all of the emission sources required under the Companies Act 2006 (Strategic Report and Directors’ Reports) Regulations 2013. We report our emissions data using a financial control approach, meaning we include emissions from all parts of the business where we have the ability to direct financial and operating policies — this includes our owned and operated retail stores and office space. Data has been prepared in accordance with the WRI/WBCSD GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard (revised edition), WRI/WBCSD GHG Protocol Scope 2 Guidance 2015 and emission factors from the DEFRA GHG Conversion Factors for Company Reporting 2019.

As per the guidance, we also track and report our ‘Scope 2’ emissions using a ‘market based’ method, which allows us to demonstrate our reduced environmental impact as we choose to purchase 100% renewable electricity. The ‘market based’ method shows the emissions created from the generation of electricity supplied specifically to our estate rather than using a ‘grid average’ of all generating technologies, as per the ‘location based’ method instead. We therefore report zero GHG emissions for electricity within the ‘market based’ method, as 100% of electricity we use is from renewable sources. The remaining emissions (200 Tonnes CO2e) within our ‘market based’ Scope 2 emissions relate to a small volume of heating and cooling purchased for certain stores, where we are not able to switch the source of this energy to renewable. Our absolute market-based emissions show a 19.6% reduction vs last year, due to efficiency improvements in non-electrical energy.

Although we strive to ensure the source data used to calculate our emission figures is accurate, access to actual consumption data is not always possible. Some estimation is therefore necessary, with 13.5% of our emissions this year calculated from estimated source data.

Annual GHG emissions intensity (Tonnes CO2e / £million revenue)

The below graph demonstrates our improvement in emissions intensity over time:


Any emissions that remain once we have maximised our ability to ‘Reduce’ and ‘Convert’, will be offset through widely supported and agreed mechanisms that are meaningful & appropriate. We will not simply purchase offsets now to ease our conscience without prior, thorough research. We look forward to the many exciting opportunities and partnerships we believe will arise with this goal.

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