Disappointed by a load of greenwash

What a load of old greenwash from Sainsbury's! (Sainsbury's greener extension plans" April 8) Like Tesco, they try to distract from the environmental mayhem caused by their car-dependent retailing with its mountains of packaging and trillions of food miles.

Okay, investing in good environmental technology is not a bad thing. But, overall, any greenhouse gas gains delivered by Sainsbury's would be negated by their expansion plans which involve new building works and extra freight operations. In addition, their 30% less energy per square metre would be engulfed by their proposed, extra 40% square metres of extension.

Nor does their 'greening' add up to much:

The Environment Agency says that, depending on the fuel and its source, biomass boilers can be as harmful as burning fossil fuels.

Sainsbury's destroyed a wooded area to extend their delivery yard to take "up to four lorries off road" but actually use the yard for storage – if they added biomass fuel stockpiles they would be lucky to get more than one lorry in the yard. Meanwhile, lorries often have to park on the pavement, or on the double yellows. Project manager Chris Wakelin told us their new traffic management system should stop that, "But if a lorry turns up unexpectedly, it can just drive round for a while". How green is that?

A tree count under their first plan showed 41 trees would go. Under their 'redrawn plans to maintain more of the landscaping' it now seems to have increased to 43!

The reality is that this store extension would be hugely damaging to our local environment, principally because of the extra cars it would bring. Their claim that selling 30% more stuff will mean 'no material increase in cars' defies common sense.

Council tests show that air quality round here is teetering around the government's danger level. One in seven children in our primary schools has respiratory problems. Traffic pollution kills 350 Sheffielders every year. We cannot allow Tesco and Sainsbury's to turn our suburban village into an environmentally unsustainable retail park.

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