Sainsbury’s boss announces energy efficient distribution centre in Northampton and two new stores promising 15% renewable energy

Sainsbury's chief executive Justin King has called for joined up thinking from the government in order to tackle climate change.

Justin King

Speaking at the Think 07 conference in London, King said he thought an application for a wind turbine at Sainsbury's new Northampton depot would be turned down.

He said he was constantly talking to both local and central government but that their policies were not always cohesive.

King claimed that Sainsbury's Northampton depot, which is half way through construction, would be the most eco-friendly depot in Europe. He said energy consumption on the development had been reduced by 50% and environmental features such as grey water recycling had been included.

King also gave details of two new Sainsbury's stores, one in Penrith, Cumbria and one in Urmston, Manchester, which will both have at least 15% renewable energy. He said the stores would be one of the leading drivers for the regeneration of those neighbourhoods.

King said: “We believe these developments are industry leading and demonstrate our ongoing commitment to operating sustainably.”

King added that he was a "free marketeer" and that industry was always ahead of government regulations on key issues such as climate change. He said that rising fuel prices were more likely to encourage businesses to save energy than government regulation.

King also said that the supermarket giant plans to become the most socially responsible supermarket brand.