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Poundland was born in 1990 with a single store in Burton-upon-Trent with a big ambition of shaking up retail by providing customers with ‘amazing value every day’.

What a journey it’s been, today we have 800 shops in the UK and Republic of Ireland, with 18,000 colleagues, serving seven million customers each week.

Over the past 30 years – and especially in the last five – we have completely revolutionised what we are able to bring our customers, expanding into clothing, homewares chilled & frozen food alongside the grocery ranges that our customers have always relied on us for as they look to make their money go further.

That revolution shows we can change at pace to meet the needs of a shopper that demands more, and we know it’s time to bring that same urgent action to the needs of our planet.

We know much more today about climate change and the importance of taking urgent sustainability action and here at Poundland we’re determined to play our part in combating the climate emergency and back in 2020 we got serious about it.

Colleagues from right across the business got together and formed our sustainability committee and started taking action. Everything is driven by our passion of ‘affordable sustainability’, meaning that you don’t need to be rich to lead a greener life.

Firstly, we had to know where we stood – that’s why our first action was to assess what impact we were having on the planet – a 2019 baseline year was created against which all our future progress can be measured.

Our committee is backed by our Management Team and led by our managing director and director of sustainability.

Our Progress

We’ve assessed our annual carbon footprint each year since 2019 to monitor our progress towards our 2024 goal. It’s important to us to be transparent and open about our progress and so we have produced and published a TCFD report (Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures) which includes details on progress we have made.


We are proud of the progress we have made so far:

  • We’ve reduced our operational carbon footprint by 21% since 2019.
  • Since mid-2022 all our UK shops are powered by renewable energy
  • We’ve banned the use of air freight to transport our products
  • Our Unsold Food Policy aims to stop food becoming waste
  • We have upgraded all our fridges and freezers with doors, increasing their energy efficiency by 80%
  • We only offer electric cars in our company car fleet

Our Goals

Our overarching goal is to reduce our operational carbon footprint by 50% by 2024 

We are currently working on our next 5-year strategy and will share this when complete.

We aim to democratise sustainability for our customers by offering affordable choices and demonstrating that price is not a barrier to sustainable and ethically produced products. Our strategy divides into four key areas, from how we operate through to the products we sell and how we deliver them.

Our Shops

Energy use is our largest carbon emission and so we’ve been working on a two-pronged approach:

  • Firstly, we have reduced the amount of energy we use by changing all our bulbs to more efficient LEDs and installed doors on all our fridges and freezers.
  • Secondly, we now source only 100% renewable energy to power our stores*

We’re passionate about reducing plastic waste and we will shortly only offer our customers bags that are 100 per cent recyclable & 100 per cent from recycled materials. These are in development and will launch this year.

We also no longer send any waste* to landfill from our stores and depots through enhanced recycling and segregation facilities at stores. We’ve just set ourselves a new stretch goal to halve overall quantities of waste.

Our Transport

Reducing the carbon emissions from our own distribution fleet has been a challenge as we expanded into fresh food products. We’ve invested in double-deck trailers and software to help us reduce road miles.

We also have plans to trial, and roll out if successful, lower carbon transport fuels on our tractor units, watch this space.

We also set a goal to reduce the carbon impact of business travel and we’re on track thanks to our move to only offer electric cars in our company car fleet and flexible home working policy.

Our Products

We know our customers want packaging that is east to recycle at home and so we are in the process of rolling out the on-pack recycling label (OPRL) on all own brand products. Internally, our new packaging handbook also guides our buyers on their packaging choices to minimise use of plastic and maximise recyclability.

We also know that most of our carbon impacts are in our supply chain and products. We have plans to reduce these product emissions and have started to work with our suppliers to better understand their activity today, their future plans, and to encourage them to act.

We have made sure that all these goals have an end target of 2024, in line with our belief that is action needed today not way into the future. Before this strategy expires, we will set new ambitious goals to support our future ambitions.

Every year we review our progress from the previous year and toughen up our targets if they have already been achieved. For example, we set a goal of zero operational waste to landfill by 2024 and achieved this in 2022, so we set a new goal to reduce operational waste by 50 per cent to build on this achievement

Our Future

We’re confident that our Sustainability Strategy 2024 sets us on the path to becoming a more environmentally conscious business for our customers, our colleagues, and our planet.

And while we’re proud of the progress we’ve made so far, we know there’s more to do.

With your help, we can continue in our mission to deliver ‘amazing value every day’, while operating as a sustainable and responsible business, making more sustainable lifestyle choices in reach of everyone.

We will keep you updated on our progress.

*more information can be found in our TCFD report