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Waitrose and John Lewis

The John Lewis Partnership has signed up to a new £420m five-year credit facility that is linked to its environmental targets.

The facility’s agreement terms specify that the interest rate the company is to pay will vary depending on whether it hits environmental goals related to moving away from fossil fuels, slashing carbon emissions and reducing food waste over the next five years.

The new credit is set to support the group’s current sustainability commitments – including becoming net zero across its operations by 2035, halving food waste across Waitrose by 2030 and ending the use of fossil fuels across the JLP transport fleet by 2030.

“This is an important agreement for the partnership,” said JLP executive director for finance Bérangère Michel.

“It is critical for businesses to align financial strategy with sustainability goals in order to address climate change.

“I am pleased that the partnership is living up to its sustainability commitments and its purpose by making this very important step.”

The company has recently began trialling a fleet of electric home delivery vans that can be charged wirelessly.

The partnership also joined an array of businesses in signing up to the UN’s Race to Zero campaign last month, ahead of COP26.

The new environmental financing, which is being provided by seven banks, replaces existing facilities of £500m that are due to expire at the end of 2022.

Waitrose’s parent company is investing around £800m this year to growth both retail brands, while also branching out to areas such as rented housing and financial services.

JLP chairwoman Sharon White said during Grocery Aid’s DiG Live event last month that the company had “ambitious plans” to diversify the brands.

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