Green electricity: opting for renewables
Along with increased energy efficiency and the use of climate friendly refrigerants, the ALDI SOUTH Group’s third key lever for effecting change is the use of energy from renewable sources. Hofer in Austria and ALDI UK both switched to green electricity in 2013. Switzerland and Slovenia followed suit in 2014 and Ireland in 2015. Such a move is not yet economically viable in some countries. In part, electricity from renewable sources is not currently available at reasonable prices, for instance in Australia. In these countries we will strive to reach our climate goals, for the time being, using other technical means.
In Germany, we are focussing on generating our own electricity through the use of photovoltaic units, which have now been installed on the roofs of more than 1,000 stores and distribution centres. Photovoltaic units are also being installed in the USA, the UK, Austria, and Slovenia as well as in a pilot project in Australia. Some of these installations are operated by third-party tenants. Overall, we produced over 108 million kWh of electricity with our own systems in 2015, of which we used 85 million kWh ourselves. This corresponds to the average annual electricity consumption of 240 stores in Germany. Solar energy that we did not consume ourselves was fed into the public electricity grid.
At currently 50 stores in Germany, we offer our customers the possibility of charging their electric cars and bikes for free at our quick charging stations. While the sun is shining, the electricity supplied by these stations comes from our own photovoltaic units. (E-mobility: Insight ALDI SOUTH Germany) Hofer in Austria also already offers three such charging stations and intends to offer ten over the medium term. The company itself is also using electric vehicles, for example, at the international service units locations in Mülheim an der Ruhr and in the Austrian chocolate factory.
For more information on the ALDI SOUTH Group’s climate strategy, see Efficiency: optimise energy consumption, Refrigerants: using climate friendly alternatives and Logistics: optimising processes to reduce environmental impact.