Managing and reducing the amount of energy we use in our business is an important way we will make progress on our Climate Action Plan and achieve our targets to reduce emissions (see Climate Action). We will also continue to choose the right technologies and solutions to create the best in-store and e-commerce shopping experiences for our customers in ways that use energy sustainably.
Our aim is to cut our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and optimize our operating performance by choosing the right technologies to use less energy while still delivering great customer experiences.
Our Energy Management Program is governed and managed at the senior levels of our company with the support of dedicated teams. For our Real Estate Team, senior executive responsibility sits with our SVP Real Estate and our VP Design, Maintenance & Building Standards, who oversee store design with an additional focus on our building standards, design innovation and environmental standards across all our banners. We also have a Real Estate and Sustainability Working Group responsible for providing direction to our Maintenance and Real Estate Teams on how to implement and execute the Energy Management Program.
On our Supply Chain & Logistics Team, senior executive responsibility sits with our SVP Supply Chain, who is supported by our VP Integrated Supply Chain. This team leads monthly meetings focused on the progress of our national electronic logging device (ELD) rollout. Our governance structure ensures strong oversight of our strategies, delivery of our actions and accountability in execution.
Managing Energy at Our Sites
In 2022, we updated the diagnostic assessment of carbon emissions and energy consumption in our buildings and related maintenance functions. Based on this, we developed a plan that will achieve carbon reductions by investing in refrigeration systems, reducing energy consumption, and exploring power purchase agreements for renewable energy.
As we continued to implement our energy management initiatives nationally in fiscal 2023, we prioritized locations in provinces with higher energy-related emissions intensity. We are making progress on refrigeration improvements including:
- Installing CO2 refrigeration systems in new and renovated stores
- Upgrading HFC refrigeration to reduce operations and maintenance costs and to use refrigerants with lower global warming potential (GWP)
We are also making plans for renewable energy initiatives that will reduce energy costs and carbon emissions. In fiscal 2024 we will begin implementing solar installations on selected corporate sites. Over the next decade we anticipate facing challenges around sourcing cleaner energy technologies, such as solar panels for our stores and warehouses, as demand for these technologies intensifies. We are planning ahead to address these potential challenges as part of our Climate Action Plan. In fiscal 2023 we continued to develop our Climate Action Plan (Phase 1: fiscal 2024–2026) that lays the foundations of strategic planning related to our GHG emissions reductions approach and the investments we are going to make over the next 10 years. This plan prioritizes energy efficiency and other carbon abatement projects that will define our journey towards decarbonization.
As a good steward of the environment, we also continuously monitor our energy use to identify opportunities to reduce consumption. In addition, we have developed a list of standardized environmental criteria to effectively select programs that support our Climate Action Plan. This helps us align our real estate renovation projects to facilitate action on emission reduction.
Managing Energy in Our Logistics
Managing energy responsibly also means focusing on the transportation of goods. Based on our latest carbon inventory (CY2022), our fleet is responsible for approximately 19 per cent of total Scope 1 emissions in our operations. Our Transportation Strategy & Innovation Team is leading the planning, development and rollout of key programs to help us achieve cost efficiencies and reduce our impact on the environment.
Energy Optimization Tools
We continue to focus on energy-efficient operations in our stores and distribution centres. Initiatives planned for fiscal 2024 include ongoing lighting retrofits, upgrades to HVAC controllers, and variable speed HVAC motor systems installations. In addition, we are deploying AIML (Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning) technologies to support conservation measures in corporate stores.
EV Charging Expansion
In fiscal 2023 our IGA team met its goal of installing 100 EV charging stations at 50 stores. Thanks to fast-charging technology, customers can recharge their EVs in about 20 minutes while completing their shopping. Since the inception of our charging network in November 2020, drivers have saved 1,005,640 kilograms of GHGs, the equivalent of planting 25,790 trees that grow for 10 years. Over the next two years, we aim to expand this network of charging stations to additional sites.
Electricity in Motion
As part of our Climate Action Plan, we are investing in the energy efficiency of our supply chain and fleet vehicles by installing smart technology on transport trucks to manage refrigeration more efficiently and by optimizing route selection to reduce fuel and energy consumption. In fiscal 2024 we will pilot Class 8 trucks to our fleet in Quebec, and we are currently sourcing an EV solution for our e-commerce business. To initiate our journey on fleet electrification, we will also be installing Level 3 charging infrastructure at one of our distribution centres.
Climate action positively impacts our business and community in so many ways. We’ve improved competitiveness, created new jobs, driven technology advancements and spurred economic growth. Sobeys has accomplished so much in a relatively short period of time. The work that we’ve done has had an enormous impact—not only on our environment and bottom line, but it has also greatly improved employee and customer experience too. I’m proud of the work that we’ve done and excited about what we aim to accomplish.”
Rod Peterson, Refrigeration, HVAC & Energy Project Lead, Sobeys
As a family nurturing families, we want to ensure Canadians are taken care of today, tomorrow and in the future. By doing OurPart™ for the environment, we hope to inspire our customers to do theirs. Every step we take together—big or small—can make a difference.Learn More