Woolworths has made steps towards its sustainability goals, but will they be enough to enthuse the market?
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The report focuses on steps made by Woolworths to increase inclusivity for its staff, provide healthy, ethically sourced food options, lessen its carbon emissions, and create sustainable financial growth.
The Woolworths share price closed Friday’s session slightly higher at $40.72.
Let’s take a closer look at the supermarket giant’s 2021 sustainability report.
The Woolworths share price will be on the radar this morning after the company outlined its goals and progress towards sustainability.
Within its first annual sustainability report since launching Sustainability Plan 2025 in November 2020, Woolworths announced its carbon emissions are currently 27% less than its 2015 baseline.
Additionally, the company reduced its plastic usage by more than 2,500 tonnes and diverted 113,238 tonnes of organic waste from landfill in the 2021 financial year (FY21).
Woolworths also began rolling out LED lighting across its store network. The LEDs will eventually see the company reduce its total store energy consumption by 11%. It has also placed solar panels atop 197 of its stores, which now generate 44GWh of electricity each year.
Woolworths also signed its first renewable power agreement in FY21. The Woolworths share price gained 0.99% on the back of the deal.
Woolworths is continuing to invest in its employees’ ‘holistic health’.
The company partnered with First Nations cultural awareness experts, Evolve Communities, to launch ‘Learning for Reconciliation’ in FY21. Learning for Reconciliation is an online module designed to provide the steps to practical reconciliation for Woolworths employees.
It is also working to create ethical and mutually beneficial partnerships through its entire value chain. The company is planning to scale up its human rights diligence across its value chain.
Finally, Woolworths still has work to do to create a gender-equal leadership team. Generally, a gender-equal team is defined as one that includes 40% women, 40% men, and 10% of leeway. Woolworths’ leadership team was 36.54% female in FY21.
The company is also lagging in achieving some of its own goals. These include practising responsible stewardship of natural resources, improving sourcing of ethical protein, and creating meaningful retail careers.
What did management say?
Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci and chair Gordon Cairns issued a joint statement within the company’s 2021 sustainability report.
We are no longer satisfied with limiting the negative impacts of our operations – we are actively looking to create positive change in our business and, hand in hand with our partners, in our extended value chain. We see sustainability as an opportunity to create long‑term value through innovation and resilience building measures that will deliver benefits for decades to come…
As we move toward our 100th anniversary, we are building the business that will take us into our second century, and as Today’s Fresh Food People, sustainability is at the heart of who we are.
Woolworths share price snapshot
The Woolworths share price is currently 20% higher than it was at the start of 2021. It has also gained 28% since this time last year.
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Motley Fool contributor Brooke Cooper has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.
The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.