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Tesco concerned about climate change

Published:  23 July, 2008

Demanding consumers, climate change and globalisation are the three major challenges faced by Tesco over the past year and will be key influences on its future, according to one of its top directors.

Andrew Higginson, Tesco's finance and strategy director, told this year's IGD Conference in London, the group was looking at its customers to help drive innovative ideas to combat these challenges.

The subject of waste was high on priority-list of things to address at the conference, with Higginson claiming Tesco had set some "tough targets" to reduce the carbon footprint of its stores by 2020.

"We aspire to inspire our customers to become greener, hence our move to introduce new eco-friendly products in our stores. Low energy blubs now account for a quarter of our light bulb sales and we are constantly looking at how customers can be incentivised to buy greener products," he said.

Higginson also spoke of Tesco's success with its carbon labeling scheme which, he claimed, was making it more commercially viable to go green. He claimed the group would also be keeping suppliers in mind through its work with the Carbon Trust.

The Tesco director also spoke positively about the impact of globalisation. "It has improved the efficiency of the supply chain and this has meant better prices for consumers," he said.

He dismissed some industry views on Tesco's cookie cutter approach, claiming the company made "every effort" to be a local shop. He added: "We don't run our business according to some massive blueprint in Cheshunt."

Huntington pointed to the group's exploits across the Pacific, where it is opening its Fresh & Easy stores in California, as a further example of this.