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Shoprite Doubles Solar Capacity & Announces Greener Pledge

The well-established pan-African retail giant, the Shoprite Group, have announced that they have doubled their solar-powered capacity this year, amidst a broader push to put climate change first.

In a lengthy opinion piece that follows on the back of COP26, Sanjeev Raghubir, Group Sustainability Manager of Shoprite, laid bare the realities of climate change and how it has affected not only the business but South Africa as a whole.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, stated that Southern Africa could face decreases in mean rainfall, increases in heavy rainfall and increased droughts. Sanjeev reflects on the IPCC report stating: “Alarmingly, we are seeing many of these predicted impacts in Southern Africa already. The Eastern Cape has been struggling with drought for the past five years, and the frequency and intensity of cyclones affecting parts of Mozambique and Mpumalanga has increased.”

In light of the predicted effects on climate change already occurring in parts of Africa (and having an effect on retailers’ ability to source “key commodities”), Shoprite Group has pledged to power 25% of its operations with renewable energy over the next five years.

Sanjeev states that by Shoprite “reducing its indirect greenhouse gas emissions by using more renewable energy, and continuously improving energy efficiency,” the retailer can not only reduce their electricity costs (circa R2.5bn a year) but also ease pressure on the national grid.

Meanwhile, over this year alone, the Group has gone from 19 solar sites to 41 solar sites at two distribution centres (Basson and Centurion). The Group also has solar panels at 38 supermarkets in South Africa and Namibia, and as of September, the retailer has 811 solar powered trailers in operation.

 

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