The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has released its Net-zero Roadmap for the Australian retail sector, after becoming one of the first retail trade associations globally to join the UN-backed Race to Zero Accelerator Pledge.
ARA CEO Paul Zahra says climate change is the next big disrupter for retail and the roadmap is designed to guide retailers on the steps they can take to achieve net-zero emissions.
“Once again, we are all in this together and the ARA is proud to unite the sector behind a common vision for change. With the transition to net-zero, it is no longer ‘if’ but ‘when and how’ we can achieve our goals and it’s clear that business has a critical role to play alongside governments in driving the change we need to see. Many of our members are already global leaders in this space and have generously shared their insights in the creation of this roadmap,” he says.
“The ARA’s roadmap is an Australian first which provides practical guidance to retailers about the suggested decisions, investments and actions they can make, either as they embark on their sustainability journey or as they accelerate their transition to net-zero emissions.”
The ARA’s Net-zero Roadmap sets aspirational targets for 2030, 2040 and 2050; in five streams of work, or pathways. These pathways include:
- Increasing the quantity and quality of emissions data, to enable data-driven decisions
- Building and operating low-emissions, energy efficient stores, warehouses and offices powered by 100% renewable energy
- Continuing to improve fuel efficiency and supporting the transition to electric and hydrogen vehicles, for low-carbon logistics
- Sourcing products and raw materials in a manner that minimises impacts on the environment and natural resources, and
- Embracing the circular economy, working with suppliers to produce more with less, and supporting consumers in the transition to more sustainable consumption.
“The ARA is working closely with our global alliances and counterparts. Our roadmap has been benchmarked against the foundational work that our colleagues at the British Retail Consortium (BRC) have completed over the past two years in developing their Climate Action Roadmap. While Australian retailers have some different challenges to our peers in the UK, there are significant similarities, so the framework is a great model for us to build upon,” says Mr Zahra.
“The ARA’s roadmap has been developed with the support of a member-led working group and reviewed by leading experts in the transition to net-zero.
“There is no doubt that the transition to net-zero emissions will be complex and challenging. But, with less than 5% of large retailers globally having made commitments to address climate change, it’s important that we remove the barriers to retailers taking action and use the scale of our sector to drive meaningful change.
“This is a living document, and one we will review and update each year as technologies, the market opportunities and government requirements evolve. While we don’t yet have all the answers, the ARA’s roadmap is designed to make it easier for our members and the Australian retail sector to navigate the journey ahead.”