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UK-based supermarket chain Tesco has revealed plans to launch a voluntary sustainability-linked supply chain finance programme.

The programme, which will be introduced in September, has been developed over a period of 18 months.

With the programme, Tesco is set to become the UK’s first retailer to help thousands of suppliers make positive changes in support of a low-carbon economy.

The company aims to encourage suppliers to sign up to science-based emissions reduction targets.

Under the programme, sustainability consultant Anthesis will independently evaluate and confirm annual greenhouse gas emissions data provided by suppliers.

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By GlobalData

Tesco’s suppliers will be offered preferential financing rates from Santander’s supply chain finance platform, which encourages them to make positive changes to their business while tracking performance and creating a culture of ‘continuous improvement’.

Tesco chief product officer Ashwin Prasad said: “In this critical year for climate action, we’re delighted to be able to offer thousands of suppliers access to market-leading supply chain finance linked to sustainability.

“This programme not only provides suppliers with a real incentive to set science-based emissions reduction targets, but it will help embed sustainability goals throughout our supply chain and support the UK in realising its climate change targets.”

Tesco established science-based climate goals across its operations in 2017. The company expects small and medium-sized businesses to show interest in participating in the scheme.

In addition, the retailer set a 2035 net zero climate target for its operations in the UK.

Last month, Tesco set out a manifesto aimed at combatting climate change.

The retailer plans to focus on five key areas, including absolute energy emissions reduction, supporting the shift to electric transport in the UK, addressing food waste and aiding sustainable food production.