Tesco shares knowledge and expertise across supply chain to reduce carbon footprint by 30 per cent

Kelly    February 20, 2012

Organization Name: Tesco

Industry: Retail

Web references:



Description of how social media is used for business performance

Tesco is one of the world’s largest retailers with operations in 14 countries, employing over 492,000 people and serving millions of customers every week. When they recognized that their overall supply chain footprint was at least ten times greater than their direct footprint, Tesco became determined to work in partnership with their suppliers to reduce this. They set an ambitious target to reduce their supply chain carbon footprint by 30 per cent by 2020.

Tesco worked with 2 degrees, the world’s largest online community of sustainability professionals, to set up the dedicated Tesco Carbon Reduction Knowledge Hub to encourage hundreds of Tesco’s suppliers to talk to each other and share findings within the supply chain. The Tesco Carbon Reduction Knowledge Hub has become a vibrant space for education and peer-to-peer learning for Tesco’s suppliers and equips them with useful ideas and tools through webinars, case studies and forum discussions to help reduce carbon emissions.

As of July 2011, over 85 per cent of  members have attended or downloaded webinars; over 30 per cent of members have participated in 30+ specific problem solving discussions; 500+ case studies and documents have been downloaded and over 75 per cent have found solutions to other problems within other 2degrees working groups.

Andy Hill, Climate Change Manager — Consumer Engagement at Tesco, talking to OneClimate about what Tesco is doing internationally to limit the impact of a changing climate

Lessons for others

This is a good example of a going a step beyond the traditional retailer-supplier relationship to collaborate and problem-solve within a company’s supply-chain. With hundreds of suppliers in many countries, many with expertise in different aspects of sustainability, Tesco recognized the best way to make progress was to share knowledge through their supply chains, across the industry, and across national boundaries.

The development of the Tesco Knowledge Hub, which runs 24/7, day-in-day-out, provides Tesco and its suppliers with easy access to vital expertise and peer-to-peer insights on how to reduce carbon and costs. This example of social media in supply chain management encourages suppliers to engage and collaborate with each other more effectively to share best practice and find solutions to challenges, without raising costs or wasting time.