Responsible Business Week 24-28 April, Retailing and the Environment – Responsible & Sustainable

Posted by Heather Clapton | 27/04/2017 | Category: Corporate

We are committed to improving the sustainability of our activities, by constantly reviewing new technologies and processes, to find ways to reduce our impact. Improving a business’ energy efficiency has a secondary benefit, following the environment, as it is a good financial investment.

As part of our corporate responsibility strategy we have embarked on a journey to tackle sustainability across all of our business operations. We have reduced our carbon footprint by thinking locally, invested in green energy options, significantly reduced our food and non-food waste, and revolutionised the energy efficiency of every store. These measures resulted in us being the first retailer to achieve all four Carbon Trust Standards.

Our latest venture involves installing LED lighting in 118 stores and petrol stations over 12 months.
Luke Olly, Energy Efficiency Lead, explains why LEDs are the future of lighting: “LEDs (light emitting diodes) use far less energy to create light than older technologies such as halogen or filament bulbs. This means we can achieve the same amount of light (or better) for half the electricity usage.”

The LED lighting will reduce our carbon footprint by 3.4% and will save enough electricity to power 1600 homes over a year.

We have started the roll-out, and the initial results at seven food stores have been promising. “The stores have seen a real improvement to the look on the shop floor, and it has provided an opportunity to engage directly with the public about our sustainable practices.” says Luke.

We take great pride in our eco-friendly stores and sustainable retailing. The 5p carrier bag charge has been successful in reducing the number of single use carrier bags used by our customers.  This was the primary aim of the legislation and Central England, like other supermarkets has seen a dramatic decrease in the number of carrier bags being distributed, and therefore contributing to reduced littering.  The secondary benefit of this legislation is that retailers have been given leave to choose their own way of utilising the levy, and we are using the money made into installing hundreds of defibrillators across communities in the region.
It is estimated that around 100,000 people die from sudden cardiac arrest in the UK each year and, whilst CPR saves the lives of around 9%, if CPR is used alongside a defibrillator, the chance of survival increases to 50%.  We are already located at the heart of our communities, so it was easy to work with the Ambulance Services to identify the most suitable sites for installation – and the carrier bag charge has paid for this vital equipment.