Tesco Goes Green

Tesco is the largest U.K. supermarket chain and has become one of the most reviled. Across the country they have bought up small, local chains and replaced them with Tesco Express stores which have put neighbourhood shops out of business, clog the streets with delivery trucks and sell standard fare which doesn't respond to local demands. In response to public anger they have announced a new green programme. They will be building the "greenest store in the world"--a supermarket made from entirely recyclable materials. All carrier bags will be biodegradable by the autumn and shoppers will be able to return excess packaging to stores for recycling. They will encourage healthier lifestyles by promoting healthy eating in deprived communities, and sponsoring exercise-oriented events. The local Express stores are going to become more "neighbourhood friendly"—including blending them into streetscapes and reducing deliveries and truck noise. They will also push to get more locally sourced food into their stores. Their community plan, unveiled last month, is a £100m environmental fund which plans to power stores' lighting with wind turbines, add solar panels and geothermal power. Response to the announcements has ranged from positive to cautionary. Ethical Consumer magazine has noted that "one green superstore, a vague aim to reduce plastic bag use and sponsorship-read advertising-of healthy events does not constitute a multi-national taking its impact seriously". :: Guardian