Woolworths Limited is a Founding Partner of the United Nations Global Compact Australia
Since opening our first single basement store in Sydney’s Pitt Street in 1924, Woolworths has grown into a household name with a presence in almost every metropolitan and regional centre in Australia and New Zealand. We began operating fresh food stores 60 years ago when advances in refrigeration technology revolutionised transport and storage. In 2010 we celebrated our 86th year in the retailing business.
Woolworths is conscious of the potential long-term effects of climate change on the planet and food supply. Our retail businesses are in Australia and New Zealand, which are both signatories to the Kyoto Protocol, and New Zealand introduced an emissions trading scheme at the start of the 2011 financial year.
We understand these concerns are shared by our customers and the communities we serve. So, in 2007 Woolworths issued its sustainability Strategy 2007-2015, titled "Doing the right thing". In the strategy, a range of targets and commitments have been set to reduce the impacts of carbon emissions from facilities (incliding stores, Distributions centres and offices), transport, water use packaging, waste and sourcing products.
Six of these key targets include:
1. 40% reduction in carbon emissions on project growth levels by 2015, maintaining 2006 levels
Progress in 2010: We have managed a 13% reduction in emissions compared to 2010 projected growth levels. This is an estimate saving of about 500,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
2. 25% Minimum reduction in carbon emissions per square meter for all new stores compared to existing stores.
Progress in 2010: Woolworths have now opened 51 green stores with an average reduction in carbon emissions per square meter of 25.08%
3. 25% Reduction in carbon emissions per carton delivered by Woolworths-owned trucks by 2012
Progress in 2010: Investment in new prime movers and improved logistics planning and have reduced emissions by 9.4%
4. At Least 200 Million Liters of water to be saved each year
Progress in 2010: Woolworths have surpassed this target. We have saved 302 Million liters of water
5. ZERO food waste in the general waste stream by 2015 where composting facilities are available.
Progress in 2010: Diverted over 9,000 tonnes of food waste to EarthPower and fit-for-consumption food to food relief organisations
6. 3.4 Million re-useable crates to replace single-use waxed boxes.
Progress in 2010: 3.4 Million crates in circulation reduced cardboard box usage by 41.2 million boxes.
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