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Co-op cuts emissions by 35 per cent

The Co-operative has cut greenhouse gas emissions from its operations as part of its ethical plan.

The Co-operative said it had now cut emissions by 35 per cent on 2006 levels, for example by energy-saving measures in stores such as fridge doors, and had committed £700m to renewable energy.

A year ago the group pledged to undertake a series of environmental and social measures, including selling more Fairtrade products, cutting carbon emissions,investing £1bn in renewables and taking on thousands of apprentices.

Peter Marks, the group’s chief executive, said that the savings made from environmental measures such as energy efficiency totalled £40m a year, compared with 2006.

The group unveiled a series of new targets this year, including reducing the greenhouse gases of its operations by half by 2020, generating a quarter of its energy needs from renewables by 2017 and cutting water consumption by 30 per cent by 2014.

It is also bidding to double the number of primary and secondary schools in its “green schools revolution” to 6,000.

Marks said: “Despite the economic downturn, we have remained true to our pledge to show the way on corporate responsibility.