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John Lewis closes deal to become 100% renewable powered



The John Lewis Partnership (JLP) has announced it will begin buying electricity from independent generation projects managed by SmartestEnergy, in order to cut emissions across the supply chain.

SmartestEnergy sells electricity from independent suppliers, such as small businesses, farmers and communities. The firm said that the partnership with the retail giant, which owns Waitrose among others, is its biggest contract ever.

Robert Groves, CEO of SmartestEnergy, said, “We have worked very closely with the partnership’s energy buying team over the past six months and been very impressed both with their approach to sustainability and genuine interest in the energy entrepreneurs we work with.

“This agreement is good news for the growing number of independent renewable generators in the UK as continued expansion in demand for green energy ensures they have a route to market for their power.”

Under the deal, John Lewis will power a number of its stores with 100% renewable electricity obtained from projects such as a wind farm in Lancashire owned by Dewlay Cheesemakers; the Rainbarrow Farm anaerobic digestion project in Dorset, powered by crops and waste from local farmers; and the community-run Udny Community Turbine in Aberdeenshire.

Nigel Keen, director of property services for the John Lewis Partnership, said, “As a responsible retailer, the Partnership aims to source sustainably across its supply chains and this agreement provides us with full transparency over where our energy is coming from.

“Working with SmartestEnergy means we can support independent renewable generators and contribute to progress towards the UK’s target for 15% of energy demand to be met from renewable sources by 2020.”

Further reading:

How Britain’s biggest supermarkets fare on sustainability

Energy efficiency labelling trail launched with John Lewis

Sainsbury’s boosts sustainability credentials with ‘triple zero’ stores

First biomass powered Waitrose store set to open

Guide to Sustainable Spending 2013