RETAILERS ARE SOAKING UP THE SUN

Four Square Raglan is walking the talk when it comes to going green following its latest move to be powered by the sun. The team has installed solar energy panels on the roof and look to power as much of their operations as possible through this renewable energy source.

“Four Square Raglan’s solar panel installation is a credit to the store’s, and the business’s commitment to sustainability. It’s an example of our promise to work smarter and reduce our carbon footprint, while enabling the store to keep prices low and quality and service high," commented Foodstuffs.

Major retailers around the world are also turning to solar power in a conscious effort to be more 'green' while also significantly reducing operating costs. Walmart, arguably the largest retailer in the USA, has the greatest on-site installed solar capacity in the country. The retailer's long term goal is to supply 100 percent of its power needs with renewable energy. Likewise, Whole Foods generates enough solar energy to meet 107 percent of its power use, and that number is steadily growing.

Last year, Target US committed to installing solar panels on over 500 of its stores as well as achieving 25 percent of its 100 percent renewable electricity goal.

Sustainability is one of the key priorities for retailers and consumers alike. It goes far beyond the organic yoghurt, and the refrigerator it is kept in. Governments around the world make announcements about climate change or action one in ten proposals, but retailers have been stepping up over recent times and continue to implement new strategies and take action not just because it is good for business, but good for the planet.

It's not just fashionable to be going green anymore, it's necessary to stay in business.

In August 2019, Australian retailer Coles announced its projection to provide 10 percent of Coles' national power needs from three new solar power plants which look to commence supplying power to the grid in July this year.

In the first deal of its kind to be made by a major Australian retailer, Coles purchased more than 70% of the electricity generated by three solar power plants to be built and operated by Metka EGN outside the regional centres of Wagga Wagga, Corowa and Junee – the equivalent of 10% of Coles’ national electricity usage.

The photovoltaic solar plants will supply more than 220 gigawatt hours of electricity into the national electricity grid. Producing the same amount of power from non-renewable sources would result in more than 180,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year, or the equivalent of the annual emissions of 83,000 cars.

Coles Group CEO Steven Cain said the increased use of renewable energy was a major part of the company’s commitment to be the most sustainable supermarket retailer in Australia.

“Coles has been a cornerstone of Australian retail for more than 100 years, and ensuring the sustainability of our business is essential to success in our second century,” he said.

In Germany, the food retail sector consumes almost as much energy as the German steel industry every year. In light of this statistic, supermarket chains are working to reduce energy consumption and are increasingly relying on renewable energy. Cutting costs is just one highlight to going green, it also reduces energy emissions associated with energy consumption.