Woolworths has purchased 27 new EVs as part of a transition to ensure all its home delivery trucks are fully electric by 2030.
The decision comes as Aussies switch in droves to supermarket home delivery and the sector is expected to surge by over 12 per cent a year.
While Woolworths will continue to purchase vehicles that burn fossil fuels until 2027, the plan is to switch its 1200-vehicle home delivery fleet to more environmentally beneficial models produced by Foton Motor and SAIC Motor.
Greenpeace welcomes Woolworths' EV switch
Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci promised the change would make suburban streets quieter and cleaner. “We hope to set an example for other businesses to support the growth of Australia’s EV industry,” he said.
That sentiment has been echoed by Greenpeace, which welcomed Woolworths’ decision. Its EV spokesperson Violette Snow said Woolworths has shown how “businesses can play a vital role in addressing the climate crisis”.
“At a time of climate crisis, every business must now be a ‘climate business’. We must accelerate the phase-out of fossil fuels and rapidly transition to clean, renewable energy sources,” she said in a statement.
Woolworths' environmentally friendly decisions
Woolworths claims to have reduced operational emissions by 31 per cent since 2030.
The company plans to become net carbon positive by 2050.
It has pledged to scrap soft plastic bags by June.
Are supermarkets now great for the environment?
Woolworths has been leading the charge in converting its business model to be more environmentally friendly, removing single-use plastic bags from its shelves. Then switching to paper bags and promising to phase out cheap thin plastic bags it has sold at checkouts.
However, Woolworths and rivals Coles and Aldi have been criticised for their ongoing use of single-use plastic on grocery items including fruit and vegetables. The supermarkets had supported the REDcycle soft plastic recycling scheme to help combat the problem, but it collapsed in November after revelations product was being stockpiled rather than processed. A replacement scheme is at least another year away.
The sale of products containing palm oil also remains a concern for many consumers. Found in many grocery items including ice cream, snacks and noodles, its production is a major contributor to the demise of species including orangutans and tigers.
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