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Tesco chief predicts green buying revolution

New labels will pave way to low carbon economy

The UK is on the brink of a revolution in “green” consumption, according to the head of Britain’s largest supermarket chain.

Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy said a low-carbon economy could be achieved without harming economic growth,

Harnessing shoppers’ buying power is the key to turning green consumption into a mass movement, he told the Green City Initiative in London.

Carbon footprint labels

Sir Terry outlined Tesco’s plans to create a clear labelling system showing products’ carbon footprints.

Those labels will help shoppers compare the goods’ green count in the same way that they can already compare prices and calorie content.

“When millions of customers a week have this information and start using it to exercise green choices, believe me, it will send very powerful economic signals through the supply chain – shock waves that will change behaviour,” Sir Terry said.

Tesco earlier halved the price of energy-efficient light bulbs and brought in “green” Clubcard points for re-using carrier bags.

The chain now plans to bring in independent experts to work out the direct carbon footprint of all Tesco businesses across the globe.

Wind turbines

Sir Terry called on policy makers to back the drive towards green retail by speeding up planning applications for wind turbines on buildings.

He said business rates and other incentives should be used to support investment in low-carbon buildings.

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