Spanish retailer Eroski has announced that it aims to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
It added that it is also the first food distribution chain in Spain to set the goal of carbon neutrality.
Eroski's pledge is part of its sustainability strategy and aligns the group within the framework of the EU Code of Conduct on responsible food business and marketing practices.
It said that it is the only distribution firm in Spain that has voluntarily joined the commitment, alongside other leading firms in Europe. The ambitious framework in relation to sustainability in the food business has set seven major objectives.
These include the promotion of healthy, balanced and sustainable diets; prevention and reduction of food waste; reducing greenhouse gas emissions to achieve a climate neutral food chain in Europe; orientation of the food chain towards the circular economy and efficiency in the use of resources; sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth; and decent work for all members of the value chain.
The Spanish retailer will follow all the objectives set out in the Code of Conduct, which is aligned with its 10 commitments to health and sustainability.
"We applaud this European initiative and adhere to this Code of Conduct from the outset, encouraging all members of the agri-food sector to join. Only the joint effort will be effective in the face of the climate emergency and the imperatives of sustainability," commented the director of health and sustainability at Eroski, Alejandro Martínez Berriochoa.
Eroski has reduced its carbon footprint by more than 39% since 2017, which is the equivalent of reducing 145,116 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
"This commitment that we announce today, carbon neutrality in 2050, and the plans we are deploying to make it possible, are consistent with our belief that business activity must be carried out with a high standard of responsibility," added Berriochoa.
During the last quarter of the year, the group will present a detailed roadmap with the actions it will undertake to achieve the objective of carbon neutrality and the rest of the objectives set by the Code of Conduct on responsible food business and marketing practices.
Groups including EuroCommerce, Independent Retail Europe and Euro Coop have also signed the EU Code of Conduct under the Farm To Fork Strategy, stating that it 'covers the objectives our sector has long committed to and is actively pursuing'.