Woolworths Group’s operations in South Australia will be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy from July this year, while also launching new initiatives across Sydney.
From July 1, Woolworths will source Australian renewable energy from Iberdrola Australia’s wind turbines and solar network at the newly developed Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park to fuel its almost 70 Woolworths supermarkets, 17 Big W stores, and its Adelaide Regional Distribution Centre.
Brad Banducci, CEO of Woolworths Group, said SA will be the first state where every one of its sites are powered by green energy.
“South Australia has helped lead the transition to renewable energy in Australia, combining solar, wind, and batteries to enable us to make this leap forward in our mission to be powered entirely by renewable sources by 2025.
“We’re proud to be making tangible changes today that will create a better tomorrow for generations to come and we look forward to building on this in other states over the next three years.”
In Sydney, Woolworths has partnered with Sydney-based AgTech company InvertiGro, to launch Australia’s first in-store vertical farm at Metro Park Sydney Village.
The innovative indoor farming solution will appear in the fruit and veg department featuring fresh herbs such as Basil, Parsley, Mint, and Coriander, enabling customer to take home still-living herbs and add them to water to enjoy fresh herbs for longer.
Paul Millett, co-founder of InvertiGro, said they’re delighted to be partnering with Woolworths Metro and to introduce Park Sydney shoppers to the benefits of indoor vertical farming.
“Through growing close to where our produce is going to be consumed, InvertiGro reduces food waste considerably by reducing the amount of food lost in transportation and handling. By providing fresh usage-size bunches we also aim to reduce the waste once consumers take them home.
“What’s generally discarded, such as stalks (although these can often be used in cooking too), the root-ball and growing media of herbs can all be put in the green-waste recycling, whilst the paper-based packaging is also 100% recyclable in the kerbside paper-bin.”
Another innovation by the supermarket giant, is its plans to introduce its first drive-through only store in Rose Bay, Sydney.
In a development application submitted to Woollahra Municipal Council, the $560,000 redevelopment of a Caltex service station will enable customers to shop online and collect their orders direct to boot.
The plans indicate that Woolworths will replace the petrol pumps with 11 car spaces, six for grocery shoppers and the remainder for Woolworths staff, and that a maximum of 100 shoppers will be able to collect their shopping each day.
The DA also suggests that the remodelled Caltex will only be used as a drive-through for up to five years, while plans for a small to medium sized retail outlet are developed.