Woolies commits to renewables; Record turtle hatching; telling Stories for Change; and how Biden plans to tackle climate crisis

Earth News|Collected: Your weekly round-up of good news for the planet

Aussie supermarket Woolworths commits to 100% renewable energy by 2025

The Woolworths Group, Australia’s largest retailer, owns almost 3,300 stores across the country, uses a 1 per cent of Australia’s energy, with power bills estimated at over one million dollars a day and is the sixth largest electricity user in Australia, after Rio Tinto, aluminium smelters Pechiney and Alcoa and gas producers QGC and Origin.

Blimey!

So, it’s very good news to hear this week that Woolworths has announced it will source its energy from renewables such as wind and solar via power purchase agreements, and will expand its use of rooftop solar panels, which are currently installed on 150 stores and provide about 13 per cent of those sites’ energy needs.

The move will see the creation of 1,584 new jobs and makes The Woolworths Group the largest single Australian energy user to join the RE100 – a global initiative bringing together the world’s most influential businesses that are committed to 100% renewable electricity.

Woolworths is the latest in a string of big corps to recently commit to a greener future, following the likes of the Big Four Banks, which have all pledged to stop funding coal; as well as ALDI, Bunnings, Officeworks and Telstra, which have also all set a strong renewable electricity target in recent months.

Do all these businesses know something we don’t? No. They have simply realised (finally) what we already knew – that coal is not the future, tackling climate change is good for the economy, the cost of renewable energy continues to decline, making it very competitive against fossil fuels (which will run out soon). And if that wasn’t enough to turn heads, studies have shown that natural climate solutions could create 80 million jobs, bring 1 billion people out of poverty and add US$trillions in productive growth. So, doing good for the planet really is good for business, then? And as this news suggests, more and more big businesses tend to agree.

Well done, Woolies. Please put get ‘rid of pointless single-use plastic “collectables”‘ next on your to-do list. Thanks.

Sources: Sarah Wilson, Sydney Morning Herald, Renew Economy.

Heartbreak and hope: Telling Stories for Change

This week, we had the pleasure of speaking with David Graham, Director at Stories for Change, a social enterprise having a positive impact on multiple human issues globally through emotive storytelling. The first project in the series – Homeless Stories – was conceived to humanise and raise awareness of the homelessness epidemic, by giving individuals affected by homelessness a platform on which to tell their own stories and provide an honest account of the support they have received from local charities.

Stories for Change works directly with small charities to connect with and safeguard the individuals interviewed in the video series. Their stories are powerful, often heartbreaking, yet always communicated with an overarching feeling of hope – that positive change can, and does, happen.

David hopes the projects developed via Stories for Change will help people and corporations to realise that these real life issues are much closer to home than they might think. You can read the interview with David here.

A photo of Katie. Because of her mothers mental health issues Katie could no longer stay in the family home and ended up homeless. Her story is one of many being told by Stories for Change.
Because of her mothers mental health issues Katie could no longer stay in the family home and ended up homeless. Credit: Hazel Thompson

Endangered turtles have hatched in record numbers in Mexico

Ok, this story is slightly more than a week old but… turtles. Not just turtles, BABY turtles. We couldn’t let it go by without a mention.

The endangered olive ridley sea turtle lays its eggs on the beaches of Mexico between May and September each year. The indigenous Seri community in Sonora state in Northern Mexico usually release about 500 of the small creatures into the sea every year; however, this year they released more than 2,250 babies into the Gulf of California.

The record number of hatchlings is believed to be due to the decreased human activity, such as fishing and tourism, during the coronavirus pandemic, which has left their beach nests undisturbed this year.

How President-elect Joe Biden plans to tackle the ongoing climate crisis

The leaders of America’s closest allies have this week been welcoming the incoming presidency of Joe Biden, as an opportunity to tackle the climate crisis collaboratively.  Prior to the winning the election, Biden vowed to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement as soon as he is inaugurated in January, after the Trump administration officially dropped out of the deal earlier this month.

Biden’s pledges for the planet include:

  • Shifting to 100 per cent clean energy by 2050;
  • Combating climate change on an international scales and
  • Appointing a climate and energy ‘czar’ to lead a new White House office that entirely focuses on climate issues.

Although Biden’s plans to tackle climate change weren’t as popular amongst environmentalists as former candidate, Bernie Sanders, it is believed that a dedicated climate office would put fighting the crisis front and centre, whilst having a dedicated person in charge of that office would ensure a unique and direct approach.

Sources: Upworthy, The Hill, Green Matters.

 

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Charli Ferrand

Charli wrote her first novel at the tender age of 9, then dabbled in the idea of becoming a professional ballerina for a few years, before returning to her love of writing, acquiring a BA (Hons) in Journalism, Film & Broadcast from Cardiff University in the UK. A three-month holiday in Australia turned into a 11 year residency, during which Charli cemented her career in PR & Marketing Communications working with some of the biggest brands in the world. She also gained her citizenship, discovered her passion for sustainability and eventually ended up coming full circle, combining her professional skills with her love of the planet and oceans into her role as Editor-in-Chief of Earth Collective. A trained journalist, experienced communications professional and qualified Mental Health First Aider, Charli has her finger on the pulse of the latest political and environmental developments around the world. You can find her writing about current affairs, political activism and mental health.

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