Aussie retailers leading the charge on renewable energy
2 February 2021 at 5:23 pm
Greenpeace has praised Woolworths, Bunnings and ALDI for their commitment to 100 per cent renewable energy
The Australian retail sector is well ahead of other industries when it comes to renewable energy commitments, new Greenpeace research reveals.
The REenergise 2020 Corporate Renewable Snapshot found that retailers had almost double the clean energy commitments of any other industry with 1146MW of wind/solar – enough to power 533,021 homes and create 2,063 clean energy jobs.
The next best performing industry was telecommunications with 713MW, while property and construction was ranked last with 88MW.
With 28 of Australia’s biggest electricity-using companies having now made renewable energy pledges, this is expected to drive 2.8GW of new renewable energy projects.
This is equivalent to powering 1.3 million households – or almost all the homes in Brisbane and Perth combined.
Lindsay Soutar, the REenergise campaign director at Greenpeace Australia Pacific, said corporate Australia had ramped up its renewable energy commitments in 2020 and retailers were leading the pack.
“Major chains such as Woolworths, Bunnings and ALDI committing to 100 per cent renewable energy saw retail eclipse other industries,” Soutar said.
“Retail giants making the clean energy switch shows that 100 per cent renewable energy is a no-brainer for businesses – it’s cleaner, cheaper and a crucial part of their responsibility to tackle climate change.”
Greenpeace Australia Pacific is now urging big retail brands like Coles and Kmart to accelerate their climate commitments and switch to 100 per cent renewables.
Soutar told Pro Bono News that in the telecommunications industry, Optus and Vodafone should join Telstra in committing to source all of their electricity from renewable energy.
She also called on the federal government to take action, noting it was still yet to commit to a serious renewable energy or emissions reduction policy, which would offer greater certainty for businesses and investors.
“We currently have no plan on climate from the federal government, no plan to cut emissions or even a commitment to net zero by 2050,” she said.
“But despite that policy vacuum of leadership, corporates are stepping up and I think that says something significant about the inevitability of a 100 per cent renewable energy future.”
Soutar praised corporates for continuing to make bold renewable energy commitments in 2020 even as COVID-19 ravaged the economy.
It is expected that 5,038 clean energy jobs will be created as a result of these businesses making the switch.
“We saw a real acceleration in 100 per cent renewable commitments from corporates last year and I think this will only continue to accelerate this year,” she said.
“Even amid the pandemic we were really pleased to see that corporates’ focus on climate did not diminish.”