Coles aims for zero emissions by 2050 in new ‘Together to Zero’ strategy

Coles Head of Energy, Jane Mansfield, at Lal Lal Wind Farm. (Source: Supplied.)

Coles has today launched a next-generation sustainable supermarket in Moonee Ponds, Victoria, while refocusing its sustainability strategy around the concept of working ‘Together to Zero’.

Specifically, working together with suppliers toward zero emissions, zero waste and zero hunger.

The new strategy will see Coles aim to deliver net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and have all its operations entirely powered by renewable energy by the end of 2025. Additionally, it will seek to reduce its combine Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by more than 75 per cent by the end of 2030.

“As part of these targets we are setting today, we are delighted to introduce ‘Together to Zero’, which underlines our commitment to work together with all stakeholders toward net zero greenhouse gas emissions,” Coles chief executive Steven Cain said.

This concept is best exemplified in the new store, which brings together a number of sustainable initiatives under one roof and will serve as the prototype for stores to come.

Coles Moonee Ponds features packageless refill stations that dispense laundry soaps, detergents, bodywash, handwash, shampoo and conditioner from major brands, while also reducing plastic packaging from herbs and fruits across the store.

The store offers reusable Coles shopping bags made from 80 per cent recycled content and 20 per cent marine industry waste, as well as trolley baskets made of 90 per cent recycled milk bottles and 10 per cent plastic recycled through REDcycle.

Coles’ team member uniforms have been made more sustainable as well, with the supermarket’s red polo shirts being made of 65 per cent recycled bottles.

And, leftover edible food from the supermarket will be donated to food rescue operation SecondBite, which will distribute the produce throughout local community organisations. Through SecondBite, Coles has made food donations equal to 138 million meals since 2011.

The announcement comes as the supermarket group signed an agreement with Lal Lal Wind Farms near Ballarat, Victoria, for the purchase of more large-scale renewable energy generation until the end of 2030.

Under the agreement, Coles will be able to purchase enough renewable energy to cover 45 per cent of its total consumption by FY23.

“With over 2500 stores and support centres across Australia, more than 118,000 team members and an average of 21 million customer transactions each week, Coles Group is Australia’s 12th largest user of electricity,” Cain said.

“We have already reduced Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 36.5% since 2009, and with these new targets we have an opportunity to play a leading role in driving climate action.

“We’re looking forward to working collaboratively with our team members, suppliers, customers and communities to set a pathway toward our long-term goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.”

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