Woolworths Group’s operations in South Australia will be powered by 100% renewable electricity from July this year – the first state to go completely green in the retailer’s nationwide transition by 2025.
A new South Australian renewable energy partnership will see the retailer’s approximately 70 Woolworths supermarkets, 17 BIG W stores and the Adelaide Regional Distribution Center go green, equivalent to every home in Brighton and Glenelg switch to green energy1.
Under a new energy partnership from July, Woolworths Group will source renewable electricity from South Australia from Iberdrola Australia’s wind turbines and solar array at the new Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park – where 50 turbines and 250,000 solar panels will work in tandem to provide approximately 100,000 megawatt hours of renewable electricity per year on behalf of the trader.
The move follows the recent introduction of compostable fruit and vegetable bags to Woolworths South Australian supermarkets last month, eliminating up to 70 tonnes of plastic from landfills each year as the retailer strives to become more green.
South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas said: “South Australia has long been a global leader in renewables, paving the way for more businesses to switch to clean energy.
“This is how the world evolves. Private capital is now leading the charge in supporting clean energy, which presents a big opportunity for jobs in South Australia. This is why the State Labor Government is working to ensure that we maintain our position as the national leader in renewable energy.
“I congratulate Woolworths Group on this exciting initiative.”
Woolworths Group CEO Brad Banducci said: “South Australia will be the first state where every one of our sites is powered by green energy and we are excited to use locally generated renewable energy to reduce the footprint of our stores from Roxby Downs to Renmark. .
“South Australia has helped lead the transition to renewable energy in Australia, combining solar, wind and batteries to enable us to take this leap forward in our mission to be fully powered by renewable sources. renewable by 2025.
“Our customers want us to buy better for the planet, and renewable energy is one of the main ways we are driving sustainability with the support of our sustainable innovation company Woolworths360.
“Our supermarkets are getting greener and South Australia is leading the way, not only in renewable energy but also in plastics, with all of our stores switching to compostable fruit and vegetable bags last month.
“We are proud to be making tangible changes today that will create a better tomorrow for generations to come and we look forward to building on that in other states over the next three years.”
In its transition to renewable energy, Woolworths Group is prioritizing partnerships that build on new renewable energy projects to help accelerate industry growth and improve energy availability and affordability green for other businesses and the community.
The nine-year, multimillion-dollar partnership between Woolworths Group and Iberdrola Australia in South Australia is supporting the development of Port Augusta’s renewable energy park, which will be fully powered in the coming months, creating 200 jobs during construction and 20 permanent full-time jobs. in the region of South Australia.
Ross Rolfe AO, Managing Director and CEO of Iberdrola Australia, said: “We are delighted to support the Woolworths Group on their sustainability journey by supplying their retail stores in South Australia with 100% green energy.
“Woolworths Group demonstrates that together we can decarbonize our electricity sector, preserving our natural environment and creating jobs in Australia’s regional communities.
“The Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park is the largest wind-solar hybrid park in the Southern Hemisphere. It operates as part of Iberdrola Australia’s large and rapidly growing portfolio, providing our customers with reliable, affordable and clean electricity supply contracts.
Following this milestone in South Australia in July, Woolworths Group will continue to gradually replace traditional energy contracts in other states with green agreements as it transitions to renewables nationwide by 2025.
As Australia’s largest retailer, accounting for approximately 1% of the country’s total energy consumption, Woolworths Group’s transition to renewable electricity by 2025 represents a significant influx of green energy into the national grid. and considerable investment in the sector over the next three years.
Since 2015, Woolworths Group has reduced its carbon emissions by over 27% through continued investment in energy efficiency, including the transition to LED lighting in over 1,000 supermarkets and the continued roll-out of its own network solar panels on store roofs. and distribution centers – now boasting over 99,000 panels across 171 locations.
The Woolworths Group has pledged not only to be net carbon neutral by 2050, but to make its operations carbon positive by 2050 – if not sooner – meaning it will remove more carbon from the atmosphere than it produces.
South Australia has been the site of a series of retail sustainability breakthroughs in recent years:
- First state to ban single-use plastic bags and picnic utensils;
- The home of Woolworths strategic paper bag manufacturing partner Detpak, which supported the relocation of paper bag production; and
- Most recently, the first state in which Woolworths replaced plastic fruit and vegetable bags with a compostable alternative in response to high rates of access to composting.