Tesco is a British multinational grocery and general merchandise retailer operating over 6,700 stores in 12 countries with 500,000 employees worldwide.

Sustainability Performance

Tesco’s ambition is to be a zero-carbon business by 2050. They have medium term targets for carbon emissions reduction in their own operations and in the products they sell. Tesco aims to reduce emissions of products in our supply chain by 30% by 2020 (compared to 2008). Tesco reports to CDP and has been recognized as one of the leading FTSE companies. Tesco scored 96/A- in 2013 and 91/B in 2012.


The sheer size of Tesco’s portfolio of 70,000 products sold in 12 countries creates challenges of data collection and analysis.


Tesco’s first step was to conduct a carbon hotspots analysis to identify the total carbon footprints of their portfolio. This enabled them to focus their work on the areas of highest carbon intensity.

Footprinter Tools

Tesco uses Footprinter Expert to build and manage an LCA database for its 70,000 products. Analytics is then used to “slice” across the database, identifying hotspots that have become the basis of their strategy. Tesco uses Portfolio to socialize sustainability data with category teams and internal stakeholders.


The 70,000 product portfolio footprint equipped Tesco to drive action – underpinning a better-informed, fact-driven discussion about what really matters, engaging suppliers to target particular hotspots or supply chain activities. Here are some highlights:

  • Agricultural inputs are 38% of Tesco’s total carbon footprint, and customer use is 35%.
  • 5 commercial categories generate half of emissions.
  • 139 high impact products and customer behaviors make up nearly 2/3rd of emissions.

Read more in The Guardian piece here.

Footprinter Team