We recognise the environmental impact we have across our value chain and will work with our suppliers, service providers and operations to innovate for a healthy planet. We will move to a circular economy, source environmentally sustainable commodities and respond to climate change.
Our target is 'Towards zero food waste going to landfill'. This ambitious target was set in our ‘2007-15 Sustainability Strategy’ and it was not achieved. Currently more than half of the waste stream is still waste food, mainly due to insufficient sorting at the stores.
Every year until 2020, we will achieve a year-on-year increase in tonnes of food waste diverted from landfill. This will be done through continuing reduction in stock loss, improving store waste management behaviour and improving the effectiveness of the farmers' program and the food rescue program.
Australians are avid recyclers and our customers see it as our responsibility to enable them to play their part in protecting the environment by making our packaging recyclable. We therefore have a target to ‘Improve the recyclability of our Own Brand packaging and contribute to the circular economy’. Woolworths will decrease non-recyclable packaging and increase recycled content, for example, working towards the elimination of expanded polystyrene; integrating this requirement into packaging design specifications for each division by 2017 and progressively phasing out expanded polystyrene by 2020. We will also introduce clear, user‑friendly recycling instructions.
Our customers expect us to operate in an ethical and sustainable manner, particularly for high risk commodities. We commit to sourcing all of our fish and seafood from independently verified or third party certified sources (e.g. MSC and ASC certified), obtaining sugar certification for all Own Brand products (Bonsucro/WWF) and sustainability certification for all our Own Brand tea, coffee and chocolate by 2020. We have a target to ‘Source key raw materials and commodities sustainably to an independent standard by 2020. We will raise awareness of sustainably sourced products.'
We have a target to ‘Achieve net zero supply chain deforestation for our ‘high-impact’ commodities in our Own Brand products, such as palm oil, timber, pulp and paper, and packaging’. This target focuses on Woolworths’ Own Brand products. It will be achieved by a combination of sourcing from independently‑certified sustainable supply chains, and where this option is not feasible, using credible offsetting schemes.
As a member of the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), Woolworths has been a signatory to the CGF Deforestation Resolution of 2010 for achieving net zero deforestation by 2020 from sourcing commodities like palm oil, beef, timber, paper and board. We have publicly committed to this resolution in our Corporate Responsibility reports and have reported on progress.
The world is moving to respond to the challenge of climate change with the signing of the Paris Agreement and nations committing to align targets to constrain global warming to within two degrees. Iconic, global businesses came out in support of this goal. We will use science-based targets to assess the impacts of a two degree world and examine their applicability to the Group. We will also investigate further cost‑effective investment in renewable energy as technology and commercial opportunities evolve.
We are continually identifying, researching, trialling and implementing energy‑efficient and low carbon technology. $188 million has been invested in projects since 2009 and has delivered an estimated $189 million in operational cost savings to date. Energy used per store by Australian supermarkets opened in 2015 is a very significant 30 per cent less than those opened in 2008.
This target will be achieved by targeted leakage reduction initiatives and by replacing existing refrigeration systems with hybrid (R134a and CO2) or HFC-free systems.
To date we have installed hybrid refrigeration systems in 226 stores in Australia and New Zealand. This eliminated high ozone‑depleting-potential refrigerants in these stores and has significantly reduced the global warming potential of the alternative refrigerants used at these stores (from 3,300 to 850 per tonne).
This target will also contribute to the achievement of the Woolworths Group emissions target and is in line with commitments by the Australian Government to phase out HCFCs and rapidly phase down HFCs. It is consistent with our peers and CGF Refrigerant Resolution.