See through Tesco

Tesco has today committed to deliver product level carbon footprint data across its entire 70,000 product-range. Any...

January 19, 2007

Tesco has today committed to deliver product level carbon footprint data across its entire 70,000 product-range.

Anyone who dismisses this as CSR spin is utterly naive. The transparency implications for its supply-chain are profound. The Historic Futures team know this better than anyone. Opening up these conversation internally is a true leadership decision.

It will unearth incredible black holes in Tesco’s product integrity. More importantly it will feed a frenzied debate on the quality and meaning of data that is being provides. But all that is for later.

Whether it can actually deliver on this, and over what timescale is another question, but the point is that carbon emissions are simply the trigger which kick-starts a competitive transparency race which will ultimately transcend CO2 emissions to embrace a rich array of social and environmental impact data. This data cannot be stored on pack. RFID, epos and barcode operators.

Link this commitment to Tesco’s undoubted leadership in micro-segmentation…
Link it to Tesco’s leading-edge e-platform…

There is no reason you shouldn’t be able to calculate your own carbon footprint and optimise
your carbon-spend accordingly.

Crucially, this sort of granular information offers a way for market forces to play out and avoid the heavy arm of the state.

Contrast the ability to optimise your shopping basket eco-footprint – at your discretion and gain credit, with the blunt and socially divisive instrument of direct road pricing.

What Tesco gets from this is not just CSR gloss. It gets control of its supply-chain.
Most critically, it gets to step out of the position as the monopolistic dictator, end become an empowerer of choice.

The ‘evil Tesco’ allegations will come to be seen for what they are – a reflection of the actions of
tens of thousands of suppliers in pursuit of a systematically mistaken goal – price reduction

Introduce a new goal – carbon reduction, and some appropriate incentives, and this system will self-optimise.

Consumers get the planet they deserve – for good or ill.

No more excuses.



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