Woolworths Group has committed to powering its entire operations with renewably electricity by 2025, as it heads towards its goal of net positive carbon emissions by at least 2050.
The power pledge is a part of the group’s Sustainability Plan, which focuses on three key pillars – Planet, Product and People.
A part of this plan includes zero food wastage by 2025. To achieve this the group will redistribute 100 per cent of edible unsold food to those who need it most through food relief partnerships with OzHarvest, Foodbank and FareShare and local community groups to the equivalent of 18 million meals per year.
Woolworths has also committed to making 100 per cent of packaging on its own brand products to be recyclable by 2023.
It will also do its part to eliminate deforestation across its supply chain for its own brand products by 2025.
The Group’s transition to renewable energy represents a significant investment in the sector over the next five years.
Woolworths will partner on new build renewable energy projects to amplify its contribution to growing the industry and is calling on green energy operators to help it make the large-scale transition across all its stores and support operations.
It has also pushed its emissions targets further, committing not only to reach net neutral carbon emissions, but to make its operations net carbon positive by at least 2050, meaning it will remove more carbon from the atmosphere than it produces.
Woolworths Group CEO Brad Banducci says that as Australia’s largest retailer, the group has a responsibility to lead the way on a more sustainable future.
“Moving to 100 per cent renewable electricity is the right thing to do, and something a growing number of our customers, team members and shareholders expect us to lead on,” he says.
“It represents a significant acceleration in our ambition to reduce carbon emissions for the health of our planet and the communities we serve across Australia and New Zealand.
“We use around one per cent of Australia’s national electricity, so we have a unique opportunity to use our scale for good and make a real impact.
“Over the coming years, we’ll invest tens of millions of dollars into renewable energy partnerships and prioritise new green energy projects to spur growth in the industry and new jobs in the sector.
“We believe this will not only be a positive for our business, but also contribute to a better tomorrow by making green energy accessible to more Australians.”
As part of its green electricity pledge, the Group has joined the global RE100 initiative, led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP.
Renewable power purchase agreements with wind and solar energy providers will build upon the retailer’s expanding network of solar panels, currently installed across more than 150 locations nationally.