Having quantifiable and measurable targets is important in building credibility across our business. Having a science-based target affords us an opportunity to consolidate our efforts in addressing the impacts of climate change within our business. We recognise the importance of improving our energy performance and reducing our overall carbon emissions.
The Covid‐19 pandemic had a huge impact on the world economy, resulting in a decline in CO2 emissions in 2020 as a result of the reduction in economic activities. This, however, was short-lived – emissions started to rise again as countries around the world began to ease restrictions on economic activity. Our strategy has remained the same; we continue to play our part in ensuring that our business is designed for resilience against climate change, while also reducing our climate impact.
Over the years, the ability to maintain credible data in order to manage our footprint has allowed us to see consistent progress in our energy productivity. This has also become an enabler for new approaches or paradigm shifts in decision-making across the business. We cannot ignore the adverse impacts that our business has on the environment we operate in; therefore, decision-making that takes these impacts into account helps to ensure proactive change.
We know that to ensure the long-term sustainability of the company and its operations, adapting to climate change should be at the centre of our energy-management strategy.
Our commitment is, therefore, to reduce our overall emissions footprint across the value chain and to incorporate more renewable sources of energy across it.
Our coordinated energy programme includes the following pillars:
Without a bigger-picture view of our impact across the value chain, we will not be successful in achieving our emissions reduction targets. We have, therefore, implemented a systematic approach to managing our energy footprint and addressing the impacts of climate change across our entire value chain. Through programmes such as Farming for the Future, we bring together all stakeholders, suppliers, and subject matter experts from within the business to ensure that sustainable and climate-friendly solutions are sought and implemented. We have focused our efforts on more quantitative initiatives, including metering, energy efficiency and emissions reduction, and have embarked on a low carbon transition journey. These initiatives have helped us to measure, track, and manage our progress over time while also continuing to yield energy savings and financial benefits. This has been shaping the way we address the strategic risks posed by climate change, and build a business case for climate adaptation.
Understanding our impact requires close monitoring and evaluation of our energy footprint. We have, therefore, focused on ensuring that we establish seamless processes for collating, evaluating and managing data in this space. We have also conducted training and awareness programmes as part of capacity building to encourage adoption and application of best practices in all our facilities, especially in stores and distribution centres.
Woolworths continues to be transparent through voluntary disclosure to organisations such as the CDP (formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project), as well as meeting all mandatory reporting obligations in the areas where we operate.
More information on the focus area and our performance thereon, our carbon footprint and TCFD disclosures can be found in our annual Good Business Journey Report