Officeworks signs up to go 100 per cent renewable by 2025

Stationary superstore Officeworks has followed its Wesfarmers stablemate Bunnings in pledging to source 100 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025, starting with an on-store rooftop solar rollout.

Officeworks on Friday released its Positive Difference Plan 2025, a broad-ranging sustainability strategy that outlines 18 commitments, including to shift to a 100% renewable energy supply within five years.

Like Bunnings, the Officeworks plan follows the September pledge by parent company, Wesfarmers, to achieve a group-wide target of net-zero emissions by 2030.

And again, like Bunnings, the details on how Officeworks will achieve its shift to 100 per cent renewables in just five years is – at this stage – a little light on detail.

What the retail chain does state in its plan is that it will be installing solar panels on 80 stores “over the coming years,” while exploring other ways to increase renewable energy usage and drive down its consumption.

“The most sustainable energy … is the energy you don’t use in the first place – which is why we’re continuing to look for ways to improve our energy efficiency so that we can cut down our overall usage,” the plan says.

In an emailed statement, Officeworks said that it had already achieved a 26% reduction in its energy emissions over the past five years (on an FY18 baseline) through the installation of energy efficient LED lighting and the application of building energy management systems.

‘‘This year, we completed  our first Positive Difference Plan and together with our customers, team, suppliers and partners we achieved positive progress which we are very proud of, but we know there is so much more to do,” said Officeworks managing director, Sarah Hunter.

“Our 2025 plan has been integrated throughout our business, demonstrated by the breadth of our commitments. It’s critical to our future success and delivering sustainable growth over the long-term.

“For us, these commitments exist not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because they are good for business,” Hunter added.

“Developed in consultation with our team, partners and key stakeholders, we’ve set out ambitious commitments to ensure we put people and the planet at the heart of our decision making, making a positive difference this year and for years to come,” she said.

As noted above, Wesfarmers flagged last month that Bunnings, Kmart Group and Officeworks would accelerate their emissions reduction efforts to meet a target of net zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030.

“Wesfarmers has, for many years, managed its businesses with deep carbon awareness, and we take responsibility for improving the energy efficiency of our operations, transitioning to renewable power, investing in new technologies and working with our suppliers and customers to help them do the same,” Wesfarmers managing director Rob Scott said at the time.

“Today, we have announced clearer, more ambitious commitments, including net zero targets or aspirations for all our businesses,” Scott said.

“It is important to highlight that action to reduce emissions makes good commercial sense. We see the opportunities to operate our businesses more sustainably as being completely aligned with our objective of delivering a satisfactory return to shareholders.”

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