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Westfield switches to 100% renewable electricity in Queensland

L- R - Jacqui Walters, Chair CleanCo, Elliott Rusanow, CEO-Elect Scentre Group, Tom Metcalfe, CEO CleanCo

Scentre Group has signed an agreement with CleanCo, the Queensland Government-owned renewables, low emissions, and hydro company, to source electricity from 100% renewable sources for its Queensland portfolio of Westfield Living Centres from 2025.

Scentre Group CFO and CEO-Elect Elliott Rusanow said the agreement is consistent with Scentre Group’s transition plan to achieve net zero emissions by 2030.

“We consider responsible, sustainable business a key part of our strategy and ambition to grow.

“We have a strong track record on sustainability, having already reduced our emissions by 30% since Scentre Group was established in 2014. This agreement will help us deliver our interim emission reduction target of 50% by 2025,” Rusanow said.

“Today’s announcement is the second agreement we’ve completed. In January 2022 we moved our New Zealand Westfield Living Centres to 100% renewable electricity.”

Rusanow said renewable electricity procurement is one of the ways the Group will deliver on its net zero target alongside optimising asset efficiency through initiatives like LED lighting installation, building management system enhancements and the generation of onsite renewable energy.

Westfield Coomera, QLD

In 2021, Scentre Group generated 7,931 MWh from solar installations at Westfield Carousel, Coomera, Kotara, Marion and Plenty Valley. As part of the Group’s investment in Westfield Knox and Westfield Fountain Gate in Victoria, new onsite solar installations will generate an additional 6,200 MWh. This will increase the Group’s total portfolio solar generation capacity by over 75%.

Queensland Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen, The Hon Mick de Brenni, said the deal was another major step for renewable energy made and delivered in Queensland.

“Every time Queenslanders visit a Westfield centre in Queensland, they are now supporting Queensland renewable jobs and Queensland’s net zero goals,” de Brenni said.

“CleanCo is unique in its remit – a government-owned corporation that is leading the energy transformation in Queensland from the beginning to end of the supply chain – building and investing in projects and selling electricity to customers at the other end.

“This is proof our publicly-owned CleanCo is getting on with the job of connecting businesses in Queensland to clean, reliable energy from Queensland renewables and helping decarbonise our economy.”

Renewable electricity will be provided to the Westfield centres primarily from the Western Downs Green Power Hub, Kaban Green Power Hub, and the Dulacca Wind Farm, where CleanCo has power purchase agreements in place.

“Combined, these projects support more than 850 jobs, many in regional areas. So, every time a person visits a Westfield centre, they can know they’re doing their part to help Queensland reach net zero, while also supporting economic growth in the state,” de Brenni said.

Westfield Chermside, QLD

CleanCo CEO Tom Metcalfe said the company was proud to be supporting Scentre Group to achieve its net zero aspirations.

“This deal is another example of how businesses are leading the way to help the state reach net zero, and how CleanCo is supporting businesses meet their own targets,” Metcalfe said.

“Agreements like this one with Scentre Group underpin our own target of bringing 1,400MW of new renewable energy into the market by 2025, while supporting the Queensland Government’s 50% renewable energy by 2030 target.”

Rusanow added: “We’re focused on improving environmental performance and have started work on an integrated environmental plan to address waste, and water as well as energy efficiency initiatives. This includes better understanding how the Group can support its business partners in achieving their own environmental targets.

“As an example, we have worked with Country Road Group and MJ Bale to provide them 100% renewable electricity which has enabled them to move all their stores within our Westfield Living Centre portfolio to a renewable product.”

The National Retail Association (NRA) has also hailed the ground-breaking deal, saying it would pave the way for other shopping centres to follow.

NRA Chief Executive Officer Dominique Lamb said the Scentre Group and CleanCo deal to supply renewable energy to Westfield centres across the state was good for retail and good for customers.

“The overwhelming majority of small business owners would like to be able to power their businesses with renewable energy, but if they are in a large shopping centre they often have no choice,” she said.

“And shoppers increasingly want to support businesses that demonstrate a commitment to caring for the environment.

“Scentre Group and CleanCo have demonstrated to shopping centres that it can be done, and we expect others will follow in order to attract those businesses and shoppers who want to do something positive for the environment.”

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