Rival supermarkets Waitrose and Tesco both made headlines late last year for use of fully electric-powered lorries to handle deliveries in some areas. As these chains clamor for solutions to achieve net zero by 2035, a new grocer has embraced the EV craze.
Sainsbury’s announced this week it is now using a fully electric fleet of a dozen vans (fridge included) to do deliveries through its Nine Elms superstore. The supermarket serves 145,000 families, so the estimated carbon emissions savings is around 57 tonnes.
“We’re always looking at how we can use the latest technology to best serve our customers, whilst also doing the right thing for the planet,” Patrick Dunne, Director of Property & Procurement at Sainsbury’s, said. “We’re thrilled to have launched a fully electric fleet in our Nine Elms superstore and we hope our customers will be delighted to learn that their groceries are being delivered with zero emissions, helping to reduce the environmental impact of their online shopping. This is just the first step for us, as we have committed to rolling out electric vans across the country to all our stores by 2035.”
That last mile is ambitious and expensive. But Sainsbury’s has already made incredible inroads into cutting emissions and energy usage.
The entire chain only uses 100% renewable electricity, and it says 40% of that in the future will come from wind and solar power. It has installed LED lights in all of its buildings which it says has reduced consumption by 70%. And it is putting a further £5 million towards start-ups through Sainsbury’s Innovation Investments that can help develop “commercialising innovative, sustainable technologies that look to reduce operational carbon emissions.” So, anything’s possible.
Sainsbury’s has some 1,400 stores across the UK, and it delivers food to 98% of the areas it serves. If they can pull it off, the amount of pollution being cut will be immeasurable. The Nine Elms store alone makes more than 2,000 deliveries per week now across some 1,760 miles. That spares some 4.75 tonnes of CO2 per month.