The number of Australian businesses committing to 100% renewables continues to grow. The trend also adds to mounting pressure on supermarket giants Coles and Woolworths, after, and both have been the focus of the calling on big businesses to take serious climate action.
Like Bunnings, Officeworks’ commits to using only renewable electricity to power operations by 2025 and reducing emissions in their supply chain as part of the roadmap to achieving net-zero emissions by 2030.
To enact that plan, Officeworks’ Energy & Carbon Manager, Patrick Heaney, told pv magazine Australia the company will install approximately 6 MW of solar across 80 locations, the equivalent of about 30% of store electricity load.
Not missing a beat, the company has already begun the installation process, working with Smart Commercial Solar to rollout the trial. Officeworks has also confirmed they are considering battery storage systems as a next step.
“We’d do an assessment for each site as the systems are sized according to electrical load profile and then roof capacity which varies across locations,” Heaney told pv magazine Australia.
Since the planned solar installations only cover about a third of their store requirements, Officeworks plans to source the rest of their renewable energy needs through a combination of approaches and are currently looking at retail options as well as in front of the meter Purchase Power Agreements (PPAs).
Since 2015, Officeworks has reduced its energy emissions by 26%. This, Heaney says, is in large part thanks to their building energy management systems as well as the installation of LED lights in 99% of their stores.
“The major takeaway for us is the best way to reduce energy consumption or emissions is to not use it in the first place,” Heaney said.
Officeworks will also be exploring other ways to increase its renewable energy usage to reach its 2025 target. The company has also committed to planting two million trees as both a carbon sink solution and to protect natural habitats for Australia’s threatened and endangered species.
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