Transitioning to 100 per cent renewable energy by 2025
It is undeniable that our climate is changing, with the impacts of climate change being seen across the world, from increasing temperatures and changing rainfall patterns to catastrophic natural disasters. Officeworks believes every business has a role to play in reaching a net-zero emissions future and limiting global warming to well below 2°, and preferably 1.5°, this century compared to pre-industrial levels. This is a limit that scientists say needs to be achieved to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, which is the goal of the global Paris Agreement.
Over the last five years, Officeworks has invested in energy efficiency initiatives that has reduced energy consumption, because the most sustainable energy is the energy not required in the first instance. This has been the primary driver for Officeworks in achieving a 24 per cent reduction in emissions per square metre of floor space since 2018, despite growing its store network.
As Officeworks looks to increase the role of renewable energy, this year it started the first phase of its onsite solar energy rollout, with the first seven stores installed. Data from these initial installations shows the solar energy systems have on average, reduced electricity consumption needed from the grid by over 50 per cent. Importantly, the insights from the process, including how to best engage with landlords, has informed the approach for the second phase in which Officeworks is targeting 50 stores over the next two years.
Officeworks is continuing to improve its energy efficiency across all parts of the business. During the 2021 financial year, this included conducting a lighting audit across 149 stores to identify other light fixtures that are not yet LED. While all shop floors have LED lighting installed, Officeworks identified a further 11,000 light fittings to upgrade, including exterior lighting and in the goods-receiving area. Additionally, Officeworks opened a new store in Warana that utilised a heat reflective roof paint to reduce the air conditioning requirements in the store.
Next year, Officeworks will accelerate the rollout of onsite solar energy systems and as the cost of batteries continues to reduce, it trial this technology at selected sites, including at the Victorian customer fulfilment centre. Officeworks will continue to invest in energy efficiency initiatives by replacing all non-LED lighting across Victorian and New South Wales stores and review the data of the trials implemented in the 2021 financial year to understand future opportunities.