The Shoprite Group has almost doubled the amount of renewable energy used in its operations to 103 234MWh (54 138 MWh) over the past year by increasing the amount of renewable energy bought from landlords and other suppliers by 91%.
“We have also reduced electricity consumption by 161 million kWh through our LED lamp replacement project, and our network of solar-panel installations now cover the equivalent of more than 26 soccer-fields,” Shoprite Group’s CSI & Sustainability Manager Sanjeev Raghubir said in a statement.
He was commenting on the ongoing negotiations at COP28 climate summit in Dubai.
“Events like COP28 are absolutely crucial, but we – business, government, civil society, humankind in general – can’t and mustn’t wait for their decisions.
“This is especially true in the African context: despite contributing the least of any region to global greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions, the continent is being affected disproportionately by climate change,” he said.
It’s why the group was investing heavily in reducing its carbon footprint in all aspects of its operations, with energy consumption a key priority.
The group’s solar photovoltaic (PV) facilities now generated enough clean energy to power nearly 4 800 homes for a year, and it was the only African company to have earned a place on the Carbon Disclosure Project’s Supplier Engagement Leaderboard, for taking action to measure and reduce climate risk within its supply chain in the 2022 financial year.
The retailer’s three-pronged approach includes reducing consumption, expanding its installed capacity of renewables and purchasing electricity in collaboration with independent power producers (IPPs).
“We’ve increased the amount of electricity we’re buying from landlords and other suppliers by 91%. That’s progress by any measure. The next step is wheeling: buying electricity from an IPP through the existing transmission network.”
He said however doing this would require greater collaboration between various stakeholders to establish a national wheeling framework.
“In the interim, we will continue to improve energy efficiency wherever we can, and to this end the group has embarked on a refrigeration project. We’ll also continue to install solar wherever it’s viable, whether on rooftops or carports,” he said.