A new Woolworths logo visible only from the sky above one of its stores is making a bold statement about the retailer’s commitment to reducing its environmental footprint.
Solar panels attached to the roof of Woolworths in Orange, in NSW’s Central West, have been installed in the shape of the supermarket’s logo.
The innovative design was chosen to celebrate the fact that Orange was the 100th Woolworths store to have solar panel systems installed as part of the supermarket’s reduction in overall emissions.
“From store lighting and air-conditioning to food refrigeration and preparation, there is no doubt supermarkets are energy intensive to run,” Woolworths Orange Store Manager Rae-Anne Ross said.
“In recent years we’ve been working to run our stores more sustainably, and energy use is a big part of the effort.
“We’re investing in more efficient refrigeration and lighting systems, and harnessing the power of renewables across the network too.”
Ms Ross said the solar installation would benefit both the environment and reduce costs incurred by the store, helping it “continue offering the best possible prices”.
More than 15,000 megawatt hours of electricity are generated through the solar panels annually – the equivalent of 2,300 households’ annual energy consumption.
A third of Woolworths supermarkets now have hybrid or HCF-free refrigeration systems, and more than 800 supermarkets have energy efficient LED lighting.
LED lighting reduces energy consumption in a store by about 10-15 per cent, with upgrades to lighting in supermarkets alone offsetting the equivalent power consumption of 50 stores.
Woolworths’ sustainability investments have helped deliver an 18 per cent reduction in carbon emissions when compared to 2015 levels.
Coles and Aldi make commitments to solar power
Coles last year announced it would build three solar power plants in western NSW due for completion in September this year, as part of a 10-year contract with renewable partner Metka EGN.
The supermarket said it would buy 70 per cent of the power generated, which would be enough to account for 10 per cent of the chain’s national consumption.
Additionally, all lighting in Coles stores nationwide were upgraded to LED by the end of 2019, and solar panels were installed on 30 stores.
Aldi also began installing solar power on stores last year, with 30 stores and a distribution centre in NSW and Queensland fitted with 4.6 Megawatt Peak (MWp) panels.
Energy efficient chillers and LED lighting have been installed in stores nationwide too.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.