Tesco has sent a letter to its major suppliers asking them to reduce their carbon footprint by 30% before 2020.

Speaking at the IGD’s annual convention yesterday (12 October), Tesco’s commercial and marketing director Richard Brasher said that the retailer would not enforce the reductions. However, he added: “Those who produce green products will be rewarded”.

On collaboration in the grocery sector, Brasher, who will become the chief executive of Tesco’s UK arm next year, said: “We face new conditions and new challenges” and insisted the retailer “does not want to work alone” on issues like obesity and climate change.

However, Brasher did not go so far as to create a false sense of unity within the grocery industry.

“The hallmark of our industry is not coy collaboration but competition,” he said, adding that he enjoys the “tense” relationships Tesco has with its suppliers.