Environment and Sustainability
Emissions and energy reduction
We have continued to see the benefit of initiatives implemented to reduce energy consumption across the Group. Total energy consumption for the year declined 8.5% from 408,125 GJ in FY18 to 373,307 GJ, resulting in the company exceeding its target of a 10% reduction in energy usage over the four years ending FY20.
Our distribution centres and warehouses are the largest users of energy across the Group and represent our greatest opportunities for further energy reduction. This includes our new distribution centre in South Australia that is expected to be completed in mid 2020, where we have identified the potential introduction of solar.
Together with our landlords, we are currently assessing the opportunity to introduce solar into our other distribution centres and further reduce our emissions footprint.
Waste and recycling
In FY19 we further increased the amount of waste diverted from landfill, from 82.5% in the prior year, to 86%. This mainly comprised paper, plastics and cardboard sent for recycling as well as organics and food waste sent for composting.
We have an ongoing focus on reducing our waste that goes to landfill and continue to work with our contractors, building managers and people to promote better recycling and recovery.
Last year Metcash and our independent retailers committed to eliminate the distribution and sale of single use plastic bags. To assist customers in the transition from single use to environmentally friendly alternatives, we developed a range of reusable bags that were made available in stores. Since the ban we have taken out close to a billion single use plastic bags from circulation. We remain committed to working with our suppliers to reduce the use of plastic and identifying ways to further reduce plastic across the network.
Metcash has also continued to work on opportunities to reduce the use of soft plastic as a member of the Australian Packaging Covenant’s Soft Plastic Working Group. This includes analysing the use of soft plastics packaging materials in Australia and identifying projects to help drive the delivery of the recently announced National Packaging Targets.