Food giant Tesco aims to cut its carbon footprint by installing a 10m high wind turbine at a Sutton Coldfield store.

City planners are yet to decide if permission will be granted to build the turbine at the New Oscott store in Princess Alice Retail Park.

But environmentalists have warned unless Tesco takes radical steps to cut CO2 emissions in other ways this will amount to tokenism.

Chris Williams from The Green Party said: “This should be one of a number of steps they take to cut CO2 and it should not just be about improving their image.

“Tesco need to make sure they’re walking the walk – not just talking the talk.

“Their stores use more energy than smaller shops and since they can be located in remote areas, it encourages people to drive which increases carbon emissions though vehicle use.

“If Tesco decide to install a turbine and stop at this point it would be nothing more than tokenism.

“Combating climate change is more than just improving a company’s image and they need to go further than this otherwise this kind of gesture gives environmentalism a bad name.”

The turbine could be the first of many in Birmingham as Tesco aims to improve its image by showing its concern for the environment.

The shopping giant made a planning application to Birmingham City Council in October to install the turbine.

A Birmingham City Council spokeswoman said a decision will not be made until January.

Tesco teamed up with energy consultancy based in Newcastle Upon Tyne called TNEI who worked with Tesco in the North East, successfully installing several micro-turbines in the area.

But The Green Party believe Tesco should not neglect to cut CO2 in other ways like cutting down on the food miles generated by moving produce around the country.

“Tesco could cut huge amounts of CO2 by prioritising the sale of local produce in their stores,” Mr Williams said.

“Places like Herefordshire and Shropshire are the orchards of England and yet we still see apples from New Zealand being sold in shops.

“There needs to be an overall approach to cutting CO2.”

But a Tesco spokesman claimed the wind turbines were part of a sustainable technology drive across the company.

Adam Fisher from Tesco said: “The investment in wind turbines is part of our community plan as one step in a range of measures to cut energy use and comes from a pot we have set aside called the Sustainable Technology Fund to find more practical ways to use renewable energy.

“If we get the go ahead the turbines, which are inaudible and very efficient, will help meet the energy needs and lower the carbon footprint of the store.”