WWF-UK appoints Tesco chief executive as chair of trustees

Dave Lewis will succeed Sir Andrew Cahn, six years in the role, in June

Dave Lewis
Dave Lewis

The conservation charity WWF-UK has appointed the chief executive of Tesco as its next chair.

Dave Lewis, who is due to step down from the retailer in October after six years in the role, will succeed Sir Andrew Cahn in June. Cahn has been in the role since April 2014.

Lewis, who joined Tesco in the wake of its accounting scandal, when it emerged it had overstated its profits by £250m, previously spent 28 years at the multinational Unilever in a variety of roles.

He is chair of Champions 12.3, a coalition of leaders from government, business and civil society that works to accelerate progress towards the UN sustainable development goal of halving global food waste by 2030.

WWF-UK said Lewis’s expertise in the area of food production would be a “particular asset” to the charity.

It said the role of the food system in the climate crisis was one of the most difficult to tackle, but also one of the most important, with deforestation and the destruction of nature principally driven by food production.

Lewis, who has been appointed chair for six years, said in a statement: “We need to change the systems that are destroying our natural world and ensure that, as the world recovers from the pandemic, we are rebuilding in a way that protects nature and the climate.

“I know first hand the particular challenge of making the food system truly sustainable, but these are challenges that we must and will tackle head on.”

Tanya Steele, chief executive of WWF-UK, said: “Dave has made a huge impact at Tesco, setting an ambitious plan to reduce its environmental impact and improve the sustainability of the average shopping basket, which we have done together.

“I am thrilled that he has agreed to join us as our chair and look forward to his leadership in approaching these huge challenges with clear vision and real ambition.”

Trustee positions at WWF-UK are unpaid.

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