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Shoprite Group has saved R16 million by switching to renewable energy

  • Shoprite Group reports it has installed a total of 143 674m² in solar panels at its 62 sites.
  • In total, the group generates 40 894MWh through renewable energy.
  • The aim is to have a quarter of Shoprite Group’s operations powered by renewable energy within the next five years.

With Eskom declaring increased stages of loadshedding at a moment’s notice, businesses are having to find other ways of keeping the lights on.

To this end, The Shoprite Group has been working on lowering its reliance on public energy for a while now. The firm has spent the last year installing solar photovoltaic systems at its sites and it now reports it has installed a total of 143 674m² in solar panels at its 62 sites. Enough to fill 20 football fields. The company aims to have 25 percent of its operations running on renewable energy by 2027.

“We are incredibly proud of our increased use of renewable electricity, and we intend to build on this in the coming years to meet our science-based emission reduction targets, including net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050,” says sustainability manager for Shoprite Group, Sanjeev Raghubir.

In total, Shoprite Group is now generating 40 894MWh via renewable energy. In addition, the firm has increased the number of solar-powered trailers it owns to 1 041. Considering this figure sat at just 234 a year ago, that’s an impressive achievement.

While generating this amount of energy is great, Shoprite Group is also using this electricity sparingly. The firm reports that it has installed LED lights at all of its sites saving it 399 million kWh to date.

Earlier this year Shoprite Group announced it would be increasing its use of renewable energy at Checkers supermarkets. This includes solar photovoltaic systems installations at stores in Oudtshoorn (generating 776 647kWh), Big Bay (generating 185 144kWh) and Knysna (generating 613 630kWh).

“At Checkers, we acknowledge that climate change will, directly and indirectly, impact our business and the communities we are a part of. Solar PV plays a significant role in our strategy to mitigate climate change and Checkers is continuously increasing its use of renewable energy and improving energy efficiency costs to reduce its indirect greenhouse gas emissions. Installations like these also strengthen the resilience and adaptive capacity of our operations and supply chain,” Raghubir said in May.

The sustainability manager reports that thanks to switching to renewable energy, the group has saved R16 million in electricity. These savings were passed along to consumers Raghubir added.

Shoprite Group isn’t the only big group investing in renewable energy. Just last week Vodacom announced that it was launching a pilot in which it would source its power from independent power producers. This is however just a pilot project and there is no guarantee that it will bring relief to Vodacom in the face of loadshedding.

As the power utility falls further into disrepair, we suspect there may be a few more announcements such as this from local firms that simply can’t rely on Eskom any longer.

 

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