Coles is aiming to source 90 per cent of its electricity requirements in Queensland from CleanCo, a state government-owned electricity generation company.
The supermarket will purchase 40GWh of power annually through the 10-year agreement, which will primarily come from upcoming solar and wind projects from CleanCo, as well as its hydro and gas sites.
Coles CEO Steven Cain said the deal was part of its drive to be Australia’s most sustainable supermarket.
“We have already made changes throughout our business to use energy more efficiently, which has enabled us to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 36.5 per cent since 2009, while growing our team member base and store network,” Cain said.
CleanCo CEO Maia Schweizer said the deal will allow it to create growth and jobs in Queensland, and to reach its goal of 1000MW of new renewable energy generation by 2025.
“We’re proud to partner with Coles and provide renewables-backed power for its Queensland sites under one contract,” Schweizer said.
The deal is a huge step toward a 100-per-cent commitment to renewable energy, said Greenpeace’s Reenergise campaign director Lindsay Soutar.
“Now more than ever, Australia needs future-proof jobs, sound investment decisions, and economic stability, and renewable energy commitments like this help to deliver that,” Soutar said.
“The world’s biggest companies are switching to renewable energy because it’s clean, affordable and reliable – and it’s great to see Coles step up to the plate in Queensland.”
According to the Greenpeace REenergise report, Coles is one of the ten largest electricity consumers in the country, while Woolworths is the fifth largest user behind mining and manufacturing businesses.
“With Coles already heading for 30 per cent of its operations powered by renewable electricity, there’s now no reason they can’t go all the way and commit to 100-per-cent renewable energy, as major competitor Aldi has already done,” Soutar said.