When Shoprite does it, you know we all probably should be. It’s not that it doesn’t innovate, more that it does so at the right time, and with a view to minimising risk and having all its ducks in a row when it does. So everybody, get busy on those “utility-scale wind and solar plants”, because that’s what the Big Red One is doing. Currently the business has installed 480,000 square feet of solar panels on top of 21 distribution centres and stores in South Africa and Namibia – but this, while impressive, accounts for less than 1% of the Group’s energy requirements. Now it’s gunning for 25%, working with an unnamed company (coughNotEskomcough) to build and commission utility-scale wind and solar plants, which will generate electricity that’s then transported via the national grid. In the meantime, it’s making inroads by committing to procuring 434,000 MWh of renewable energy per year for the next seven years, and will continue to roll out rooftop solar, here and further north. Its energy bill is currently in the order of R2.5bn annually.
Comment: Those are some big commitments, as Shoprite gets the jump on the green energy revolution that is barrelling down upon us.