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Officeworks Invests In Solar Powered Robots

PC brands including Acer, Lenovo, and Asus have all benefited from a surge in sales at Officeworks as the Melbourne based retailer invests in solar powered robots in their distribution centre in an effort to be more sustainable.

Last week the Wesfarmers owned business announced that revenue jumped 8.7 per cent to $3 billion, while earnings increased to $212 million, supported by strong sales growth of products from consumers now working from home.

The move to using a fleet of robots powered by solar is designed to help the business achieve ambitious sustainability targets according to the retailers Managing Director Sarah Hunter.

The batteries will be installed at the Truganina centralised fulfilment centre (CFC) in conjunction with Officeworks’ robotics partner Korber.

“Korber is keen to partner with us to try solar and batteries on the roof of the CFC to see if we can create an environment where the AMRs [autonomous robots] are charging on fully renewable energy, so there’s no need for generators,” Ms Hunter told The Australian Financial Review as retailer launched its 2021 sustainability report.

Officeworks plans to install solar panels on at least 20 stores this year and is looking at batteries to power autonomous robots at a Melbourne fulfilment centre.

“That facility will be phenomenal from a sustainability perspective and the first of its kind in Australia,” Ms Hunter said.

The investment is part-funded by Officeworks’ landlords and is part of the group’s strategy to achieve 100 per cent renewable energy by 2025 and net zero carbon emissions by 2030.

Hunter said, “Our customers are even more committed to making a positive difference than they were 12 to 24 months ago,” Ms Hunter said.

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