Coles thanks customers for supporting sustainability measures on World Environment Day
Coles is recognising World Environment Day by thanking customers and team members for helping Coles to become Australia’s most sustainable supermarket.
Driving generational sustainability was at the centre of the transformation strategy Coles unveiled in June last year, which included commitments to continue reducing packaging and food waste as well as greenhouse emissions.
To date, Coles customers and team members have helped donate the equivalent of 142 million meals to disadvantaged Australians via SecondBite and Foodbank, recycled 997 million pieces of soft plastic through REDCycle and donated grocery essentials to the retail value of $7.9 million to vulnerable Australians during COVID-19.
Chief Property and Export Officer Thinus Keeve, who leads Coles’ sustainability strategy, thanked customers and team members for helping Coles make a positive contribution to the environment.
“With our 115,000-plus team members serving more than 20 million customers every week, the combined efforts of our customers and team members have a material impact on our ability to implement sustainable practices in the communities in which we operate,” Mr Keeve said.
“Whether it’s making a donation at the checkout to SecondBite or dropping off soft plastics at a Coles REDCycle bin, each one of our customers are helping achieve our mission to become the most sustainable supermarket in Australia.”
Over the past 12 months Coles has made further progress on its commitments to increase the proportion of energy it sources from renewables and implement more sustainable processes across its stores.
“By using energy more efficiently and investing in renewable energy projects, we have reduced our greenhouse gas emissions by more than 35 per cent since 2009, including a six per cent reduction in the 2019 financial year alone,” Mr Keeve said.
Coles has installed solar panels on 38 supermarkets since June 2019, increasing the total number of on-site solar electricity generation facilities to 68, while construction has also commenced on three new solar power plants based in regional New South Wales, from which Coles will purchase the equivalent of 10% of its national electricity consumption.
In the past two months Coles has also opened two of its most sustainable supermarkets with Coles Local in Melbourne’s Hawthorn and Sydney’s Rose Bay. These stores feature team member uniforms made from 65 per cent recycled bottles, trolleys made partly from recycled plastic and free reclaimed customer carry boxes as an alternative to bags. Coles plans to roll these sustainability initiatives to more of its stores over the coming months.