Supermarket giant Coles has powered forward in the retailer race to renewables, with its announcement today that it will commit to 100% renewable electricity by 2025.Greenpeace Australia Pacific has welcomed the announcement, which will see Coles, one of Australia’s biggest energy users, responsible for 1% of the country’s total electricity consumption, also commit to 75% emissions reduction for Scope 1 & 2 emissions by 2030.

REenergise campaign director Lindsay Soutar, from Greenpeace Australia Pacific, said Coles’ commitment to clean energy has far-reaching implications.

“Emissions are down, down, down as Coles shifts away from coals, and towards 100% renewable electricity. Coles making the clean energy switch will put a big dent in Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions, inspiring confidence in towns and cities across the country that even the biggest and most complex businesses can run on renewable energy,” she said.

“All three of Australia’s biggest supermarkets have now committed to 100% clean electricity, meaning the goods and services Australians use every day will soon be brought to us by the wind and sun. 

“Combined with the large-scale renewable power purchases Coles has already made, today’s announcement sees them swipe the retailer renewable energy crown from rival Woolworths – for now.”

“The momentum behind Australia’s business energy transition is undeniable, as company after company commits to 100% renewable electricity, and concrete action from companies like Coles puts them in front of the pack. Australian businesses have so far committed to enough renewable energy to power 1.6 million homes – that’s almost every house in Sydney.”

In 2019 Coles became the first major retailer to sign a power purchase deal, sourcing 10% of their electricity from three solar farms in regional NSW. In 2020 they announced a deal to source a further 20% of their power through wind and solar projects via Queensland’s renewable energy retailer CleanCo. They have announced today a further power purchase from Lal-Lal windfarm, near Ballarat in Victoria.

Tony Goodfellow, Victorian organiser for solar and wind power advocacy organisation REalliance, said that Coles’ power purchases showed the confidence big businesses place in wind power.

“Victoria’s wind farms are hitting their stride, and power purchases, like that announced today by Coles from Lal Lal Wind Farm, show how Australia’s big businesses are using wind energy to power their operations,” he said.

“Victoria is ahead of the game in windfarm development and that puts regional communities in a great position to capitalise on the clean energy boom, as more and more major companies make the shift to 100% renewable electricity.”

Lindsay Soutar said that Coles’ clean energy switch puts the pressure on other Australian businesses to follow their lead. 

Greenpeace Australia Pacific is now calling on Coles to sign up to the global RE100 program, the international alliance of the world’s most influential businesses committed to 100% renewable electricity.

For more information please contact Fiona Ivits on 0487 003 872 or [email protected] or Martin Zavan on 0424 295 422.

About REenergise:
REenergise is a campaign by Greenpeace Australia Pacific calling on some of Australia’s biggest electricity using companies to make the switch to 100% renewable electricity, because it’s better for the environment, and it’s better for the bottom line.

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Read our latest report on corporate renewable energy progress in 2020