ALDI Australia has announced that it achieved a very significant milestone, with Supermarkets now being run on 100% renewable electricity. This achievement is a goal set by many organisations, but targets are often someone in the 2030s. ALDI set a a very agressive target and even beat that by 6 months.
ALDI is now, the first supermarket in Australia to have all offices, stores and warehouses powered using only renewable electricity sources, and results in a reduction of the company’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 85%.
Transitions like this, don’t come without a lot of very difficult decisions and a serious commitment to the cause. The transition used a three-pronged approach including:
- On-site power generation via an extensive network of solar panels across stores and Distribution Centres,
- Offsite generation through Power Purchase Agreements with two wind farms,
- The acquisition of market renewable energy certificates.
By using 100% renewable electricity, ALDI will now save 274,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every single year. This equates to what would be produced by almost 60,000 Australian homes or the same as taking 80,500 cars off the road for one year.
“As the 67th biggest user of electricity in Australia we recognise the significant role we have to reduce our impact on the environment and contribute to a more sustainable future. We have always been a business that prioritises doing the right thing over talking about it. We hope that other businesses across the country are encouraged by what we have been able to achieve and accelerate their own plans around renewable energy.
Our customers care about ensuring they purchase with purpose and every time someone walks through our doors they can feel confident their weekly shop isn’t costing the earth. We’re already known for our high quality products at incredibly low prices and as a responsible Australian business, we’re thrilled to be maintaining this great value without compromising the environment.”Tom Daunt, CEO, ALDI Australia.
ALDI is already generating energy from its wind-farm investments with 10-year Power Purchase Agreements with Tilt Renewables’ Dundonnell Wind Farm, based in western Victoria, and RATCH-Australia’s newest wind farm – Collector Wind Farm located in the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales.
“Tilt Renewables’ partnership with ALDI will be a long-term journey supplying clean renewable energy to their stores from our Dundonnell Wind Farm. Projects like Dundonnell support local jobs as well as Australia’s transition to a lower-emissions future, and we are pleased that ALDI are leading the way in procuring renewable energy and supporting this future.”Deion Campbell, CEO, Tilt Renewables.
“It has been so encouraging for the RATCH-Australia development team to see a well-known household name like ALDI embrace clean energy. Servicing ALDI’s energy needs currently makes for almost 20% of our Collector Wind Farm’s generation. I hope that many more Australian companies follow ALDI’s lead and tap into this abundant resource,”Mr Polagorn Kheosiplard, Managing Director, RATCH-Australia.
To generate clean energy onsite, the supermarket continues to install solar panels across its network of freestanding stores. Since commencing its solar installation program in 2015, ALDI will have installed a massive 104,000 panels across 274 stores and six Distribution Centres by the end of the year.
ALDI’s extensive solar rollout is responsible for 24.5 Megawatts of power to the supermarket’s total electricity requirements. The benefits of a partnership with Epho, goes beyond generating clean electricity, having enabled 150 Epho employees and contractors across the country to remain in their jobs during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
“Supporting ALDI with their renewables ambition makes the Epho team immensely proud. Last year, at the peak of the program, we delivered 100 solar systems on ALDI stores in 100 business days. This kind of speed is only possible because ALDI and Epho have built a strong partnership over the years.”Dr Oliver Hartley, Managing Director, Epho.
ALDI has also taken steps to reduce its total electricity usage implementing energy efficiency measures like LED lights reducing total lighting energy consumption by over 50%, as well as trialling natural refrigerant technology.
The supermarket’s 100% renewable electricity achievement is just one of several sustainability initiatives across the business and its supply chain. By 2025, ALDI aims to send zero waste to landfill which includes a goal to achieve zero food waste sent to landfill by 2023.
The program will see ALDI expand segregated waste collection at stores and identify closed loop recycling opportunities. It also aims to reduce at least a quarter of all plastics and packaging from its own brand products, as well as remove certain single-use and problematic plastics from its range.
Let’s hope many other Australian businesses follow suit and particularly those which compete in the Supermarket industry, looking at you Coles and Woolworths, time to go renewable.