Woolworths Group says its operations in South Australia will be powered by 100 per cent renewable electricity from July this year as it becomes the first state to go green.
The grocery multinational is turning to renewable energy in all the other states and territories nationwide by 2025.
It notes a new South Australian renewable energy partnership will see its almost 70 Woolworths supermarkets, 17 Big W stores and Adelaide Regional Distribution Centre go green.
It will source the electricity from Iderdrola Australia’s wind turbines and solar network at the newly developed Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park – where 50 turbines and 250,000 solar panels will work in tandem to supply approximately 100,000 Megawatt hours of renewable electricity per year on the retailer’s behalf.
“South Australia will be the first state where every one of our sites are powered by green energy and we’re excited to use renewable energy generated locally to reduce the footprint of our stores from Roxby Downs to Renmark,” Brad Banducci, Woolworths Group CEO, says.
“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,” he adds.
“Our customers want us to make shopping better for the planet, and renewable energy is one of the keyways we’re boosting sustainability with the support of our sustainability innovation business Woolworths360.
“Our supermarkets are growing greener and South Australia is leading the way, not only on renewable energy but also on plastics, with all our stores switching to compostable fruit and veg bags last month.
“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.”
Woolworths says in its transition to renewable energy, it is prioritising partnerships which draw on new-build renewable projects to help accelerate the industry’s growth and enhance the availability and affordability of green energy to other businesses and the community.
It adds that the multimillion-dollar nine-year partnership between it and Iberdrola Australia supports the development of the Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park, which will be fully energised in the coming months, creating 200 jobs during construction and 20 ongoing permanent full-time jobs in regional South Australia.
“We are delighted to be supporting Woolworths Group in their sustainability journey by providing their retail stores in South Australia with 100 per cent green energy,” Ross Rolfe AO, Iberdrola Australia Managing Director, and CEO, says.
“Woolworths Group is demonstrating that together we can decarbonise our electricity sector, preserving our natural environment and creating jobs in Australia’s regional communities,” he adds.
Woolworths says as Australia’s largest retailer, it represents around one per cent of the country’s total energy use. It notes its renewable electricity transition by 2025 will deliver a considerable amount of green energy to the national grid and a sizable investment in the sector over the next three years.
It has also pledged not only to reach net neutral carbon emissions by 2050, but to make its operations net carbon positive by 2050 – if not sooner – meaning it will remove more carbon from the atmosphere than it produces.
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