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Coles commits to zero greenhouse emissions with ‘Together to Zero’ plan

2 min read

Coles Group has launched its newest sustainable supermarket in Moonee Ponds, Victoria, along with a refreshed strategy and new targets built around its ‘Together to Zero’ plan.

Under the new strategy, Coles Group is targetting to deliver net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and have its entire operations completely powered by renewable electricity by the end of 2025.

Coles also aims to reduce its combined Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by more than 75% by the end of 2030, from a 2020 baseline.

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

“A key part of our ambition to be Australia’s most sustainable supermarket will be reducing our environmental impact, and we have a responsibility to help create a better Australia for future generations,” he said.

As ‘Together to Zero’ rides on the core goals of zero waste, zero emissions and zero hunger, the new Coles’ Moonee Ponds supermarket sets a new benchmark for sustainability and innovation.

The store will be featuring new ‘packageless’ refill stations that dispense laundry soaps, household detergents, bodywash, handwash, shampoo and conditioner, while reducing plastic from herbs and other fresh produce.

It will also trial misting and cold plates, which has enabled the removal of certain packaging without compromising freshness, quality and home life for customers.

The Moonee Ponds store will also introduce reusable shopping bags made with 80% recycled content, including 20% marine industry waste, as well as Aussie-made trolley baskets made from 90% recycled milk bottles and 10% recycled plastic collected through REDcycle.

Even Coles’ team member polo shirts have gone the sustainable route as they are now made from 65% recycled bottles.

Aligned with Coles’ ‘zero hunger’ goal, the new store also donates leftover edible food to food rescue organisation SecondBite which distributes to local community organisations.

The announcement comes as Coles also signed an agreement with Lal Lal Wind Farms near Ballarat, Victoria, for the purchase of large-scale generation certificates for renewable electricity until the end of 2030.

Under the agreement, Coles Group will purchase enough large-scale generation certificates from Lal Lal Wind Farms to further increase Coles’ renewable electricity to 45% of total consumption by 2023.

“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,” he said.

Cain continued that their new targets for Scope 1 and 2 emissions commit them to an accelerated reduction in greenhouse gas emissions that exceed the climate change ambitions of the Paris Agreement.

“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,” he said.