Operational Emissions

We remain committed to increasing the energy efficiency of our buildings, procuring low carbon energy and finding more efficient ways to distribute our goods, as well as encouraging innovation.

Our Carbon Strategy

Our overarching aim is to achieve a 65% reduction in carbon intensity (tonnes per £m sales) by 2020/21 against a 2010 baseline. We have also developed a number of targets which focus on improving energy performance, refrigeration management and transport operations.  This is in order to demonstrate our continuing commitment to resource reduction alongside low carbon procurement.

Our Carbon Target in a Nutshell

The change to the Global Greenhouse Gas Protocol means that companies must report their electricity in two ways, using two different emissions factors: firstly one that reflects the emissions from the type of electricity that the company has chosen to purchase (market-based methodology), and secondly the UK-grid average (location-based methodology). We decided to base our carbon target on the new market-based methodology. This is so our performance was not sensitive to yearly National Grid emissions intensity changes, which is outside of the Partnership’s direct control, and to ensure that renewable electricity procurement remains a critical component of our strategy. Although the Partnership has purchased renewable electricity since 2011, in 2015 we moved to a new supplier that was able to provide certificates that proved compliance to the new carbon methodology. This enabled us to apply a zero carbon emissions factor to all sites within our contractual control.

Our Targets and Performance

Target Performance
By year end 2020/21 we will achieve a 65% reduction in carbon intensity (tonnes per £m) against a 2010 baseline. We have reduced our emissions by 57.3%* per £m sales since 2010.  Over the next five years we recognise the need to continue to invest in initiatives that drive efficiency in order to maintain this performance.
By year end 2020/21 we will reduce energy consumption (kWh per ft2) by 20% against a 2010 baseline. We have reduced energy consumption by 16.8%* per ft2 since 2010.
We will ensure refrigerant emissions leakage is no more than 10% entrained volume by year end 2015/16.  We have reduced our refrigerant leakage to 6.9%* of entrained volume and we have a target to ensure that this remains at no more than 7% by year end 2020/21.
By year end 2020/21 we will achieve a 5% reduction in carbon intensity from distribution (tonnes per £m) against a 2010 baseline. We have reduced our emissions by 2.8%* per £m sales since 2010.  However, we recognise as we develop our distribution operations to deliver to customers in new ways, this trend is likely to be challenged.

Global Greenhouse Gas emissions data (tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent)

Scope 1
Combustion of fuel and operation of facilities,
Scope 2
Electricity purchased for own use
Location-based 316,343 294,927*
Market-based 343,577 43,594*
Scope 3
Water, business travel, waste to landfill and transmission and distribution losses from purchased electricity


Intensity measurement    
Location-based 54.5 50.9*
Market-based 57.0 28.1*

22015 data is reported on an approximate calendar year basis which comprises the period from 21st December 2014 to 26th December 2015. Going forward, the annual results will be prepared on an approximate calendar year basis.

3A change in refrigeration emission factors has required restating emissions data for prior years.

Construction of John Lewis Birmingham

Investing in our buildings

John Lewis Birmingham, which opened in September 2015, is designed to be our most energy-efficient full-line department store.   It utilises best-in-class Phillips CrispWhite LED lighting, heating from a local energy-efficient heat pump system and air de-stratification fans throughout to utilise waste heat.  It also uses a close-controlled water-cooler and HFC air conditioning.  It has air displacement ventilation – a requirement for all of our new John Lewis buildings.  In addition, a Combined Cooling, Heating and Power (CCHP) connection provides temperature control and power from the same energy source.

We will use best practice set out in our Responsible Development Framework to ensure new shops reflect the same high standards as our Birmingham branch.  For existing shops and offices, we have identified cost-effective energy-saving measures by carrying out audits of our buildings as part of the new Energy Savings Opportunities Scheme.

We were delighted to be commended at the Lux Awards 2015 for the LED lighting scheme in John Lewis Oxford Street’s refurbishment.

Vines at the Leckford Estate

Establishing Low-Carbon Solutions at Our Farm

We have installed a 186kWp photovoltaic system at our 4,000-acre Leckford Estate farm. The panels use daylight to generate energy for lighting and to power the milking machines for our herd of 600 dairy cows. It is estimated that the panels will save approximately 70 tonnes of CO2e every year.  This project was shortlisted for ‘Best use of solar in a CSR project’ at this year’s Solar Power Portal Awards.

In addition, through trial work at the farm, we are supporting Innovate UK as a partner on its 'Agritech' initiative. This will investigate the feasibility of producing ammonia using renewable energy where hydrogen is produced by the electrolysis of water and nitrogen captured from the air.  The project is also aiming to demonstrate that by producing fertiliser at a smaller scale, near to the point of use, it will be possible to negate energy use to dry product for transport, reduce carbon emissions associated with fertiliser production and transport and to improve UK food security.

Refrigeration in Waitrose


In 2015 we ran an extensive programme to reduce the CO2e associated with our refrigerant units. This included 38 containment projects of which 18 received lower Global Warming Potential (GWP) refrigerants. We also trialled a new low GWP refrigerant and this has shown positive results in operational performance and improved energy efficiency. We replaced HFC refrigeration systems with natural refrigerant solutions in four branches.  

To date, we have reduced our refrigerant leakage to 6.9%* of entrained volume exceeding our target of no more than 10% by year end 2015/16.  We have a target to ensure that this remains at no more than 7% by year end 2020/21.

As well as utilising water-cooled refrigeration and use of refrigerant with a low GWP, our newly built Waitrose in Bagshot uses a heat recovery system as part of its refrigeration strategy. This system captures the waste heat generated during the refrigeration process and uses it to provide comfort heating to the branch and to pre-heat the hot water cylinder.

*We engaged KPMG LLP to undertake an independent limited assurance engagement, reporting to the Partnership, over selected information