Shoprite Group Expands Its Rooftop and Refrigeration Solar PV Project

  • The Shoprite Group now generates enough electricity to power over 1,100 households (12,300MWh of electricity) a year from solar energy, following the installation of rooftop PV panels at 19 sites in South Africa and Namibia. 
  • The group has additionally fitted 649 solar panels to the roofs of its refrigerated trucks, which generate 760MWh annually. 
  • This is enough power to run 1,040 refrigerators for a full year.

These allow drivers to switch off truck ignitions at delivery locations, reducing noise and exhaust pollution, while keeping the cold chain intact.

The group’s largest installation at Basson distribution centre in Brackenfell, South Africa is a move to reduce the company’s impact on the environment. There are now enough solar panels at this distribution centre to cover an entire soccer field and the 7,706m2 of panels have a generating capacity of 1MW.

Sanjeev Raghubir, sustainability manager for the Shoprite Group, commented: “At Shoprite, we recognise that climate change poses direct and indirect risks to our business and the communities we serve. Therefore, we are taking measures to tread more lightly on our planet.”

“Apart from these solar panel installations, we have also signed an agreement which will see the group procure 434,000 MWh of renewable energy per year for the next seven years. We are the first retailer to close such a deal, which is arguably the first of its kind in Africa,” concludes Raghubir.

Shoprite commits to lessening energy and water footprint

In a bid to find innovative ways to reduce electricity usage, the group has also replaced fluorescent lamps with energy-efficient LED lamps. The process cost R98.3-million, and in the four years since its inception has saved 83.8 million kWh of energy.

Shoprite recently scored an A- for its climate change and water security disclosures on the globally recognised CDP platform, which further underlines the retailer’s commitment to environmental sustainability.

The Shoprite Group recognises that climate change will, directly and indirectly, impact its business and the communities in which it operates, and therefore commits to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, continuously improve energy efficiency and strengthen the resilience and adaptive capacity of its operations and that of the communities in which it operates.

There are now 18 stores throughout South Africa and Namibia in the group that harness the power of the sun for their operations. These include:

  1. Checkers Plettenberg Bay Mall (Western Cape)
  2. Sitari (Western Cape)
  3. Gordons Bay (Western Cape)
  4. Constantia (Western Cape)
  5. Hermanus and Whale Coast Mall (Western Cape)
  6. Shoprite Strand (Western Cape)
  7. Shoprite and Checkers Parys (Free State)
  8. Checkers Woodlands (Free State)
  9. Shoprite Rustenburg (North West)
  10. Shoprite Devland (Gauteng)
  11. Shoprite Kimberley (Northern Cape)
  12. Kathu (Northern Cape)
  13. Shoprite Oshakati (Namibia)
  14. Otjiwarongo (Namibia)
  15. Ongwediva (Namibia)
  16. Tsumeb (Namibia 

Author: Nicolette Pombo-van Zyl

This article was originally published on ESI Africa and is republished with permission with minor editorial changes.

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