Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time.
Over the years, we have assessed the risks that our business is exposed to. They range from physical risks, such as extreme weather events, to transition risks, such as changing regulations, innovation, market trends in energy supply, and rising energy costs.
Without the correct mitigation and adaptation strategies adopted across the value chain, we expose ourselves to negative impacts related to extreme weather events such as flooding, droughts, and rising sea levels. These impacts will not only be experienced directly in areas where we source all raw commodities but also in the destruction of infrastructure where we make and sell our products.
Our strategy considers all the risks and opportunities associated with climate change that we have identified as a business. We want to ensure our business is designed for resilience against climate change and reduce our climate impact.
The science is clear: setting stringent emissions reduction targets will make a difference in preserving our ecosystem services.
We are committed to being part of the collective action against climate change. We have an approved science-based emissions reduction target, which aligns with limiting the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. We have also committed to achieving net zero carbon impact by 2040. Science-based targets allow us to consolidate our efforts in addressing the effects of climate change within our business. We recognise the importance of improving energy performance and reducing carbon emissions.
Over the years, the ability to maintain credible data to manage our carbon footprint has allowed us to see consistent progress in our energy productivity. We cannot ignore our business’ adverse impacts on the environment where we operate. Therefore, decision-making that considers these impacts using the data we maintain helps to ensure proactive change.
Adapting to climate change should be at the centre of our energy-management strategy to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Company and its operations. Therefore, we commit to reducing our overall emissions footprint across the value chain and incorporating more renewable energy sources.
Our co-ordinated energy strategy includes the following pillars:
Most of our carbon emissions come from our electricity usage and via emissions from the production and manufacturing of our products.
Until recently, we have focused on reducing emissions from our direct operations. We have implemented a systematic approach to managing our energy footprint. Some of the initiatives include the online metering of electricity, implementing energy-efficiency initiatives, and emissions reduction through adopting eco-friendly technology. These initiatives have helped us manage our progress over time while yielding energy savings and financial benefits.
Quantifying our impact by measuring our carbon footprint is essential to our approach. Programmes such as Farming for the Future have enabled us to cement our approach with suppliers to ensure we collectively work in transforming the value chain.
We conduct training and awareness programmes as part of capacity building to encourage adopting and applying 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) and meeting all mandatory reporting obligations in the areas where we operate. We are also committed to transparently disclosing climate-related risks and opportunities for our business.
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