Both Coles and Woolworths have pledged to be using 100% renewable energy in all of their retail outlets by 2025, with Aldi already hitting their 100% renewable energy target in June 2021.
In March this year Coles made the commitment that by the end of the 2025 financial year all of their 2500+ retail stores would run on 100% renewable energy; this week marks the signing of the last agreement needed to realise this commitment.
Coles’ renewable energy will be mainly made up by purchasing renewable energy certificates from a number of large renewable energy providers across Australia using a combination of wind and solar farms. This is also a great employment boom expected in the renewable sector with some estimates predicting there could be up to 44,000 jobs in Australia’s renewable energy sector by 2025.
Coles Chief Sustainability, Property and Export Officer Thinus Keevé said he was ‘extremely proud’ that Coles had not only created a clear pathway to achieving its 100% renewable electricity target on schedule, but that they had also set the plan in motion less than a year after announcing the target. “As part of Coles’ Sustainability Strategy, including Together to Zero, we can now say with confidence that Coles will be 100% renewable from July 1, 2025, which is an incredible achievement.”
Coles joins Woolworths who in November last year committed to power their entire operations with 100% renewable by 2025, and to be net carbon positive by 2050 the latest. These announcements have been met with praise by environmental campaigners. Lindsay Soutar, a campaign director, from Greenpeace Australia said: “Woolworths committing to 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2025 will put solar and wind power at the heart of Australian communities across the country”, she added that this “[boost] Australia’s energy capacity, creating good energy jobs and speeding our transition to a renewable-powered grid.”
Whilst Coles and Woolworths are making steady progress towards their 2025 goals Aldi’s renewable energy goals achieved earlier this year has seen them generate all of their electricity needs through the 104,000 solar panels sitting atop their stores and warehouses with additional energy needs provided through purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates.