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Coles' promise to become a green grocer, Woodside follows suit

Business

Two of Australia’s biggest companies have bowed to green pressure with Coles pledging to become 100 per cent renewable by 2025 and to have net zero emissions by 2050, and Woodside allowing a non-binding vote on climate change.

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The decisions come as boardrooms are pressure by activism from funds to take climate change as a serious threat to business.

Greenpeace said it was a huge step because Coles was Australia’s 12th biggest energy user.

“Coles has now claimed the retail renewable crown, having already become Australia’s first major retailer to sign a renewable energy power purchase agreement,” Greenpeace said.

“All three of Australia’s top supermarkets – Coles, Woolworths and ALDI, have now committed to 100 per cent renewable electricity, showing how even our biggest and most complex businesses can run on renewables.”

Coles has also announced a major power purchase from Lal-Lal windfarm, near Ballarat in Victoria, adding to their existing renewable power deals with Queensland’s Cleanco.

Coles said it would also reduce its scope 1 and scope 2 emissions by more than 75 per cent by the end of 2030. Scope 1 emissions are those released to the atmosphere as a direct result of an activity and scope 2 are those caused by indirect activity.

The major contributor to the greenhouse emissions for retailer is in the transporting of goods.

Coles chief executive Steven Cain said the company had already reduced its scope 1 and scope 2 emissions by 36 per cent since 2009 and it had been a leader in securing renewable energy.

“Our new targets for scope 1 and 2 emissions commit us to an accelerated reduction in greenhouse emissions that exceed the climate change ambitions of the Paris Agreement and will help sustain Australia for generations to come by working together with customers, suppliers and members of the community.

Woodside also announced today that it would follow the lead of Santos and have a non-binding advisory vote of shareholders on climate change at its 2022 AGM.

Chairman Richard Goyder said the non-binding vote would be part of the company’s conversation with shareholders and stakeholders.

 

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