Responding to climate change:
energy and carbon initiatives

Our immediate target is to ‘Reduce Woolworths Group’s carbon emissions to 10 per cent below 2015 levels.’ In response to the Paris Agreement, we will use science-based targets to assess the impacts of a two-degree world, and examine their applicability to our Group. This work will be undertaken during the coming financial year.



Reduce Woolworths Group’s carbon emissions to 10 per cent below 2015 levels.


Woolworths Group

Woolworths Group has successfully registered two programs under the Federal Government's Emission Reduction Fund. These programs look to help the Federal Government meet their 2030 Climate Change Target by reducing carbon emissions.

Project Enlighten utilises energy conservation measures (such as LED lighting, HVAC and lighting controls optimisation) to reduce carbon emissions, whilst our Source Separated Organic Waste Diversion project was rolled out to Woolworths supermarkets to help reduce organics ending up in landfill where they produce harmful gases as they decompose.



Project Enlighten won the Energy Efficiency Council’s Leading Energy User award for 2016. The National Energy Efficiency Awards are Australia's highest profile honours dedicated to excellence in energy efficiency. Project Enlighten, an ambitious program of LED lighting, refrigeration and air-conditioning upgrades has delivered annual energy savings equivalent to powering 36 supermarkets that help offset rising energy costs. As well as the great energy benefits, Project Enlighten also delivers an enhanced in-store experience for our customers and team – a true win-win outcome.


Woolworths Group

To keep our future and current developments as green as possible, we became a member of the Green Building Council of Australia in 2017. Our property development division, Fabcot, has committed to obtaining a Green Star performance rating for currently owned retail centres. And for future developments, we are aiming to achieve an even higher Green Star rating by using the learnings and initiatives passed on from other market leaders.

We have committed to opening a new supermarket and Dan Murphy's store in the Burwood Brickworks development. With an ambitious sustainability agenda for the project, the goal is for the development to become the most sustainable shopping centre in the world. The sustainability will be measured by the Living Building Challenge – an initiative of the International Living Future Institute based in Seattle.


Big W

To reduce BIG W’s carbon emission, we have introduced skylights in warehouses, as well as upgrading in‑store lighting to LED bulbs – reducing energy use by approximately 15% per store. To date, we have 13 stores upgraded to the new LED bulbs. We are also shifting more traffic from truck routes to rail where possible, removing over 6,000 truck movements per year.


Woolworths Group

We have been investing in renewable energy and will investigate further cost‑effective investment as technology and commercial opportunities evolve. We are looking at the broad application of solar across our business and are about to commission a 1.2MW solar install (3,344 panels) at our new DC in Melbourne South. This will double our installed solar PV capacity to over 2.4MW.


Woolworths Group

We will work with our suppliers to build capacity to manage risks such as water shortages and droughts, which could affect commodity supply and prices. This work has begun and will be completed during FY18.

2017 carbon emissions

Running our refrigeration systems is a material contributor to the carbon footprint of our businesses. We are investing in new technologies to reduce the impact of this critical part of our business. Even though our overall refrigerant leakage for FY17 increased, the encouraging reductions in recent months gives us confidence that we will achieve our 2020 goal as our initiatives take effect.



Innovate with natural refrigerants and reduce refrigerant leakage in our stores by 15 per cent of CO2-e below 2015 levels.

Refrigerant management

Woolworths Group

As a business, we depend on refrigeration, so it’s in our best interests to make sure we are using the most advanced and sustainable technology to run it. Our 2020 target is to ‘Innovate with natural refrigerants and reduce refrigerant leakage in our stores by 15% of CO2-e below 2015 levels.’ We’ll do this by implementing leakage reduction initiatives and by replacing existing refrigeration systems with hybrid (R134a and CO2) or HFC-free systems.

We’ve recently opened the first Australian Woolworths supermarket at Greenway Village in Colebee with transcritical CO2 refrigeration. The system uses 100% natural refrigerants that have no global warming potential. Transcritical refrigeration systems have a lot more waste heat available for store heating, water heating, under floor heating, and even store cooling. Countdown in New Zealand has also embraced this technology, operating transcritical systems in four stores (as well as two of our FreshChoice stores). Going forward, all new Countdown stores will have transcritical systems, utilising natural refrigerants.

Another new technology we are using in our stores is waterloop refrigeration. It offers a reduction in refrigerant charge and refrigerant leak rates compared to standard supermarket systems.








above 2015 levels