Loblaw to power over 280 locations in Alberta with electricity purchased from TC Energy that is generated by wind, sun and water; company says move is a 'Canadian first' and will cut its nationwide operating carbon emissions by 17%

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TORONTO , May 4, 2023 (press release) –

Today, Loblaw Companies Limited (TSX: L; “Loblaw”) announced an unprecedented carbon-free energy deal that will see the electricity it purchases for its supermarkets, drugstores, offices and distribution centres in Alberta generated entirely by wind, sun and water. The arrangement, leveraging renewable energy sources, is the first of its kind in Canada.

This program will eliminate the carbon emissions associated with the company’s electricity purchases in Alberta, while cutting its nationwide enterprise operating emissions by 17%.

As a result of this program, one day soon, carbon-free electricity will be used to power over 280 locations, including Real Canadian Superstore, Shoppers Drug Mart, No Frills, Real Canadian Liquor Store, Independent and Wholesale Club stores, as well as the company’s offices and distribution centres. This energy purchase will provide over 300,000 megawatt hours of carbon-free energy every year – enough to power the homes in a city like Lethbridge, Alberta – and save the equivalent of up to 180,000 metric tons of carbon emissions from being released into the atmosphere.

"Loblaw has been actively reducing its carbon emissions for over a decade, consistently exceeding its own ambitious targets. Last year, when we raised those targets to become net zero by 2040, we knew we would need some breakthrough innovation to reach our goal,” said Galen G. Weston, Chairman and President, Loblaw Companies Limited. “This project delivers that by turning our highest carbon emitting energy market into our lowest, in one single step. Today's announcement is a powerful example of private industry working together to bring scaled change to the energy transition."

Loblaw is making this purchase from TC Energy, an experienced, long-time North American energy company. TC Energy, in its own campaign to reduce emissions, has put together Alberta’s first product to make carbon-free energy available round-the-clock. As such, TC Energy either owns, operates, or has access to carbon-free renewable energy generation and large-scale energy storage facilities.

This product solves the renewable energy intermittency challenge: what to do when the wind doesn’t blow or the sun doesn’t shine. With this approach, carbon-free energy is generated by solar panels and wind turbines that capture energy from the elements and feed it into Alberta’s electrical grid – which powers Loblaw stores, offices and distribution centres.  A pumped-hydro energy storage station circulates water up- and down-hill to store and generate carbon-free power when wind and solar power are not available. 

The end result: carbon-free energy, available 24/7, generated by Canadian innovation, that will not only power Loblaw’s stores and business, but also create more stable and reliable renewable energy for Albertans.

“TC Energy’s success is incumbent on providing customer-led energy solutions,” says François Poirier, President and CEO, TC Energy. “After many productive discussions to understand Loblaw’s decarbonization needs, our team crafted a plan to help them access carbon-free electricity to power their entire operation in Alberta. Our intrinsic power knowledge and experience drove our team to develop Canada’s first-ever 24X7 carbon-free energy product. This means Loblaw – and other companies – can make huge strides to reduce their emissions –a goal we are all aligned to.”

The energy purchase between Loblaw and TC Energy is subject to the satisfaction of all terms and conditions set out in the agreement between the two organizations. Elements of the program are expected to come online in 2025.

Program Highlights

  • Today, Loblaw announced an innovative carbon-free energy purchase.

  • The company says the electricity it purchases for its supermarkets, drugstores and distribution centres in Alberta will soon be generated by wind, sun and water – 100% carbon-free energy using renewable resources.

  • This purchase will eliminate the carbon emissions associated with the company’s electricity purchases in Alberta.

  • It will also reduce Loblaw’s national enterprise operating emissions by 17 per cent.

  • This purchase is like powering over 45,000 homes in Alberta with renewable energy.

  • Loblaw is making this purchase from Alberta’s TC Energy.

  • This is carbon-free energy, available 24/7, generated by Canadian innovation, that will not only power Loblaw stores and business, but also create stable and reliable renewable energy for Albertans.

About Loblaw Companies Limited

Loblaw is Canada's food and pharmacy leader, and the nation's largest retailer. Loblaw provides Canadians with grocery, pharmacy, health and beauty, apparel, general merchandise, financial services and wireless mobile products and services. With more than 2,400 corporate, franchise and Associate-owned locations, Loblaw, its franchisees and Associate-owners employ more than 221,000 full- and part-time employees, making it one of Canada's largest private sector employers.

Loblaw's purpose – Live Life Well® – puts first the needs and well-being of Canadians who make one billion transactions annually in the company's stores. Loblaw is positioned to meet and exceed those needs in many ways: convenient locations; more than 1,050 grocery stores that span the value spectrum from discount to specialty; full-service pharmacies at nearly 1,350 Shoppers Drug Mart® and Pharmaprix® locations and close to 500 Loblaw locations; PC Financial® services; affordable Joe Fresh® fashion and family apparel; and four of Canada's top-consumer brands in Life Brand®, Farmer’s MarketTM, no name® and President's Choice®.

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