'Landmark day': Aldi's remarkable environmental achievement

Aldi has announced that it has become the first Aussie supermarket to power its operations with 100 per cent renewable energy.

The supermarket giant, once the 67th biggest electricity user in Australia, announced its plan to shift to renewable energy in August 2020.

The initial announcement projected the supermarket’s renewable energy plan to be finalised by late 2021, however on Wednesday the German company said they had reached their goal six months ahead of schedule.

We all know Aldi for its super sales and discounted household items, but the grocer’s commitment to environmental sustainability may prove to change consumer’s perspectives.

Aldi store front.
Aldi has achieved its 100 renewable energy target six months ahead of target. Source: Getty Images

Aldi CEO Tom Daunt said the retailer recognises the vital role they play.

“We recognise the significant role we have to reduce our impact on the environment and contribute to a more sustainable future," Mr Daunt said.

“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.”

Aldi cuts carbon dioxide emissions by 85 per cent

Aldi’s move to renewable energy is estimated to prevent 274,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions from entering the atmosphere per year - the equivalent of powering 59,677 Australian homes.

The transition was achieved via the acquisition of market renewable energy certificates, and on-site generation via Power Purchase agreements with two wind farms - Dundonnell Wind Farm in Victoria, and the Collector Wind Farm in New South Wales.

A woman shopping in Aldi.
Aldi says its customers care about being environmentally responsible. Source: Getty Images

Tilt Renewables’ CEO Deion Campbell commended Aldi on their partnership.

“Projects like Dundonnell support local jobs as well as Australia’s transition to a lower-emissions future,” he said.

Managing Director of Ratch-Australia - representative of the Collector Wind Farm - Polagorn Kheosiplard said he hoped "many more Australian companies follow Aldi’s lead”.

The grocer also commenced a solar panel installation program in 2015, having installed more than 104,000 panels across 274 stores and six Distribution Centres by the end of the year.

Aldi has made it clear that all 570 stores, offices, warehouses and distribution centres are inclusive in today’s renewable energy announcement.

Aldi sign.
Aldi has been praised for 'genuine corporate climate leadership'. Source: Getty Images

The supermarket chain has also taken steps to reduce its total electricity usage, by implementing energy efficient LED lights which is reducing total lighting energy consumption by over 50 per cent as well as trialling a natural refrigerant technology.

Additional sustainability initiatives have been implemented across the business and its supply chain, with Aldi aiming to have zero waste in landfill by 2025, with a sub-goal to achieve zero food waste in landfill by 2023.

Aldi has been commended on their proactive approach to reducing carbon emissions, with many urging other major supermarket chains to follow suit.

Greenpeace praises Aldi's 'genuine corporate climate leadership'

Greenpeace Australia Pacific’s CEO David Ritter has commended Aldi’s renewable energy milestone, saying it was "genuine corporate climate leadership in action".

He described it as “win for the climate and a credit to the company”.

“Renewable energy is the cheapest form of new energy, and capable of powering Australia’s biggest businesses," Mr Ritter said.

"Aldi’s leadership in the race to power all Aussie supermarkets with renewables is a landmark day.”

Greenpeace's REenergise campaign calls on some of Australia’s biggest electricity-using companies to make the switch to 100 per cent renewable electricity.

Do you have a story tip? Email: newsroomau@yahoonews.com

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and download the Yahoo News app from the App Store or Google Play.