Woolworths reiterates the business’ commitment to reduce energy usage by 30% In support of the efforts to address the nation’s energy crisis, Woolworths continues to focus on reducing energy usage in all aspects of the business. Energy usage 2012 target (announced in April 2007): 30% reduction in relative energy usage across the business. 2008: Woolworths is on track to use 5% less energy this year. Energy-saving initiatives Lighting and air conditioning systems – All light fittings in Western and Eastern Cape stores have been changed to energy efficient fittings. Woolworths is currently in discussion with Eskom to roll this programme out in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng; – Woolworths only uses electronic ballasts, in place of magnetic chokes in stores, depots and offices, resulting in a 15% saving in lighting costs; – The electrical profiles of selected stores, depots and offices are monitored remotely to ensure that lighting and air-conditioning units are managed in the most efficient way; – Automated lighting switching equipment has been installed in our top 20 stores to ensure that lights do not remain on after hours; – Woolworths has conducted awareness programmes, campaigns and presentations at stores for the last 25 years to educate staff about efficient use of energy; – Woolworths was amongst the first retailers to sell energy efficient light bulbs in South Africa and no longer stocks incandescent light bulbs. Refrigeration – None of Woolworths stand alone food stores have air-conditioning, except in KwaZulu-Natal where the air-conditioning is required to control humidity; – Energy efficient refrigeration plants installed in stores and depots over recent years have reduced the power consumed by refrigeration by up to 40%; – Frozen foods are displayed in closed refrigeration cabinets – this has been the practice for over a decade, reducing energy usage in the freezers; – Waste heat, recycled from the refrigeration system, is pumped back in to the food market (“free heating”), helping to maintain comfortable trading conditions. Building design Woolworths considers the following energy saving measures when considering new real estate opportunities: – Natural ventilation including openable windows to offices and cross ventilation; – Use of natural light; – Energy efficient lighting and the use of a Building Management System for light switching; – Solar powered water heating; – Re-use of heat generated by plant and machinery to heat buildings in cold periods of the year. Woolworths awarding winning Midrand Distribution Centre An illustration of Woolworths commitment to sustainability at every level of the business is the Woolworths Midrand distribution centre, one of the largest single structures in the southern hemisphere. Every aspect of the design and construction of the 78 000m² facility has been subject to scrutiny from a social and environmental perspective, ensuring that Woolworths minimises the impact on the surrounding environment and communities. In an effort to reduce the use of electricity at the DC, some of measures utilised are: – The use of natural light in the building; – Intelligent light fittings in offices capable of dimming to adjust to ambient natural light and switching off when people leave the space; – The use of recycled heat – heat recovered from refrigeration plant is used in the underfloor heating system; – Solar thermal hot water production for ablution facilities; – The use of elevated flood lights results in a significant reduction in the number of luminaries required; – Using evaporative cooling technologies for the refrigeration plants resulting in the greatest energy saving. The Good business journey The energy saving initiatives are part of the Good business journey, a multifaceted plan to help people and the planet. The principle of sustainability has been at the heart of Woolworths since the company was founded 75 years ago. In line with the Good business journey, reducing the business’ use of energy is a key priority for Woolworths. Woolworths Good business journey incorporates a series of challenging targets and commitments centred on four key priorities: accelerating transformation, driving social development, enhancing Woolworths environmental focus, and addressing climate change. It is a 5 year plan which sets targets to 2012. We have used the phrase the ‘Good business journey’ because this truly is a journey and there are no easy solutions. Addressing climate change is a key pillar of the Good business journey strategy, to this end Woolworths is committed to reducing the business’ relative carbon footprint by 30% by 2012. This will be achieved in part through far reaching energy efficiencies. Woolworths has already indicated this commitment, being the first retailer to participate in the NBI’s Energy Accord initiative. Woolworths signed the national Energy Efficiency Accord in August 2006 and is committed to working with key stakeholders to update, and where necessary establish, energy management guidelines for the retail sector based on best international practice.