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.
In 2018, we initiated a diagnostic assessment of the energy consumption in our buildings and related maintenance functions. Building on that assessment, we developed an Energy Management Program that includes upgrading and retrofitting existing buildings to make them more energy-efficient and reduce GHG emissions across our operations (see Climate Action).
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 2022 we created a three-year plan 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 low-carbon abatement projects that would define our journey towards decarbonization. As part of our Climate Action Plan, we aim to pursue renewable energy projects such as rooftop solar panels on stores and warehouses and Renewable Energy Certificates to reduce Scope 2 emissions.
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 & Strategic Sourcing 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 an Energy Monthly Meeting Committee 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.
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 ESG mandate. This helps us align our real estate renovation projects to facilitate action on emission reduction. These carefully selected and assessed projects provide carbon emissions savings and are an investment in our facilities.
Managing energy responsibly also means focusing on the transportation side of our business. Our fleet is responsible for 23 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. Key programs include:
In fiscal 2022 we continued to invest in infrastructure upgrades in our stores to reduce energy use and GHG emissions. We extended the installation of digital discus compressors and SMC fan motors—components used in our refrigerator and air-conditioning systems—to another 150 locations, saving over one million kilowatt hours each year and reducing our annual carbon emissions by over 2,300 tonnes.
EV Charging Expansion
We are making it easier for our customers to charge their electric vehicles (EVs) while shopping in our stores by expanding charging infrastructure at our IGA stores in Quebec and New Brunswick. RechargeÉco is a new network of fast-charging stations that are tailored to current and future electric vehicles. On the 22nd of each month, all fees collected for that day’s charges are donated to a local charity. Since the inception of our charging network rollouts, we have helped drivers save 194,984 kilograms of GHGs, the equivalent of planting 4,999 trees that grow for 10 years.
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. We also have targets to drive the electrification of 70 per cent of our supply chain fleet by fiscal 2033. By the same year, we plan to convert 80 per cent of our Voilà delivery vans to electric power sources.
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