Hardware giant Bunnings Warehouse is the latest big brand to announce its commitment to operate entirely on renewable energy by 2025.
The company added that it hopes it will also be able to operate with zero carbon emissions within the next decade. Already it has been able to slash its energy usage by 20% by installing solar PV panels and LED lights throughout its retail network.
Mike Schneider, the company's MD, said that Bunnings was keen to play a role in how businesses addressed and responded to the challenges of climate change, explaining that the company had begun its journey towards a more sustainable operation some years ago. He added that he still recognised that there was a long way to go in achieving carbon neutrality.
Bunnings is one of Australia's biggest hardware chains, and it shook up the market by adding over 70 solar PV systems across its retail stores, which generate a third of its total power needs. This means that the company can rely on sunlight to meet a large proportion of its electricity.
Its vast retail stores are naturally energy-intensive to run, with the switch to carbon-friendly LED lights making a significant difference to the company's green credentials in a single move.
Environmental groups have praised the news, saying that the publicised plan for 100% renewable energy in a short timeframe showed leadership and inspiration to other global businesses. They called on other brands to demonstrate similar ambitions in the renewable energy field and to prioritise sustainability as a core part of their strategy rather than a bolt-on tactic.
Bunnings is planning to install another 20 solar PV systems across its network in the coming year, creating skilled jobs as well as helping to reduce environmental emissions.