Shoppers urge Coles to become a greener grocer: new poll

Melbourne, 8 December 2020 – Australians want Coles to become a greener grocer, with a new poll showing that nearly three quarters of Aussie shoppers want the supermarket chain to switch to 100% renewable electricity.

Coles is the only major Australian supermarket that has not yet made the full switch to 100% renewable electricity, following recent commitments by Woolworths and ALDI to source all of their electricity needs from renewable energy by 2025.

The polling, carried out by UComms and commissioned by Greenpeace Australia Pacific, found that 73.4% of respondents  think Coles should follow Woolworths and commit to 100% renewables.

Over 55% of respondents also said they would be more likely to buy a product from a retailer that sourced its electricity from 100% renewable sources.

Lindsay Soutar, Director of REenergise, a Greenpeace Australia Pacific campaign to encourage big businesses to switch to 100% renewable energy, said that the poll results were a clear message to Coles that it’s time to flick the switch on the energy transition.

“The message from Australian shoppers is loud and clear – they want Coles to commit to 100% renewable energy, like its supermarket rivals Woolworths and ALDI,” she said.

“Coles is already running 30% of its operations on renewable energy and it wouldn’t take long for them to take the lead in the supermarket race to renewables.”

“This year we’ve seen some of Australia’s biggest businesses, from Bunnings to Telstra, commit to 100% renewable energy. It’s time for Coles to up their ambition in the retail renewables revolution – or risk being left behind.”

Coles has already made significant steps towards cleaner power, signing two major deals with wind and solar farms in NSW and QLD – enough to cover 30% of the company’s electricity consumption. Its deal with Queensland’s state-owned clean energy retailer CleanCo means its QLD stores and distribution will soon be run on 90% renewable electricity. 

Coles going fully renewable would bring a staggering 571 MW of new wind and solar online, enough to power all the homes in Tasmania, creating 1584 jobs. The commitment would have a major impact on Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions – the supermarket is Australia’s 12th largest energy user, consuming around 1% of the country’s electricity. 

Shopper Lisa Edinburg said that the renewable energy and climate commitments played an important factor in her purchasing decisions.

“As a shopper, and a parent of young children, I want to know that brands I support are working to create a safer future for my family – it definitely plays a role in my shopping decisions. Your move, Coles.”

Greenpeace Australia Pacific is calling on Coles to commit to 100% renewable electricity and to sign up to the global RE100 initiative by the end of 2020.