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Woolworths Holdings, one of South Africa’s premier retail chains, has commited to doubling its energy productivity by 2020

First major international retailer joins EP100 campaign

3 April 2017, 12:01 UTC 4 min read

LONDON: Woolworths Holdings, one of South Africa’s premier retail chains, today announced that it will join EP100 and commit to doubling its energy productivity by 2020.

Woolworths is the first major international retailer to join EP100 since its launch in May 2016. The company is now part of a global, collaborative initiative that consists of nine other leading businesses including Land Securities, Dalmia Cement, Swiss Re, and Johnson Controls.

Led by The Climate Group, in partnership with the Alliance to Save Energy, EP100 encourages influential businesses to double their energy productivity as part of efforts to transition to a net-zero emissions economy. By doubling the economic output from every unit of energy consumed, companies set a bold target, demonstrating climate leadership while reaping the benefits of lower energy costs.

On joining the campaign, Justin Smith, Group Head of Sustainability, Woolworths said: “We believe it’s important for companies in emerging markets to play a role in reducing carbon emissions. South Africa, where our headquarters is located, has a relatively carbon-intensive economy, so businesses need to actively drive energy productivity and maximize the environmental and cost saving benefits from energy efficiency.

“In light of this, and with 400 stores in South Africa, we have already committed to reducing our relative energy use by 50% by 2020 and sourcing all our energy from renewables by 2030.  By joining EP100, we believe we can help to accelerate our progress towards achieving these goals.”

Woolworths has already made significant steps in promoting energy efficiency and productivity. In 2007, Woolworths launched the Good Business Journey as an integrated program to formalize the company’s sustainability commitments. The program includes initiatives such as using energy efficient lighting and real time monitoring as well as management of energy and water use across Woolworth’s entire business operations. 

Jenny Chu, Head of Energy Productivity Initiatives, The Climate Group, said: “Woolworths' commitment to doubling energy productivity sends a very clear signal that companies in emerging markets can improve how they consume energy while also growing their business.  

“In fact, energy productivity recalibrates the focus of business leaders away from energy conservation and towards how energy can best be utilized to maximize societal, environmental and economic prosperity. We are therefore hopeful that Woolworth’s leadership will inspire other companies to embrace energy productivity and align often competing agendas of economic growth and environmental sustainability”.


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For further information, please contact:

Nazneen Nawaz, Head of International Communications, The Climate Group

[email protected] / +44 (0) 20 7960 2716


About EP100

EP100 is a global campaign led by The Climate Group that encourages the world’s most influential businesses to pledge to double their energy productivity, in order to maximize the economic benefits from every unit of energy they consume. Active members of EP100 include: Covestro, Dalmia Cement, Danfoss, Hongbo, Johnson Controls, Mahindra & Mahindra, Mahindra Holidays & Resorts, and Swiss Re. @ClimateGroup

The campaign is brought to you in partnership with the Alliance to Save Energy, as part of the We Mean Business coalition.


About The Climate Group

The Climate Group is an award-winning, international non-profit. We specialize in bold, catalytic and high-impact climate and energy initiatives with the world’s leading businesses and state and regional governments. Our work is at the forefront of ambitious climate action. Our vision is a world of prosperous ‘net-zero’ emission economies and thriving, sustainable societies. Our mission is to catalyze climate leadership in government and business to accelerate the shift to a prosperous and thriving ‘net-zero’ future for all. We do this by communicating to inform, convening to connect, and collaborating to scale and succeed. Founded in 2004, our offices are located in Beijing, Hong Kong, New Delhi, New York and London. | @climategroup


About Woolworths Holdings (WHL)

The WHL Group is a South African-based retailer founded in 1931 with operations across the Southern hemisphere, including Australia. It is one of the top 40 companies listed on the JSE Limited Securities Exchange. The Group has three major operating divisions: a) Woolworths, b) David Jones and c) Country Road Group. It also operates Woolworths Financial Services which is a joint venture between Woolworths and Barclays Africa Group (owns 50% +1 share).

WHL is a largely private label retail Group across food, clothing, homeware and beauty products.  WHL Group includes company outlets and subsidiaries, associates and operations throughout South Africa, the rest of sub-Saharan Africa and Australasia.

WHL is a three time winner of the International Responsible Retailer of the year Award at the World Retail Awards.