Central England lighting the way with LED installations

Central England Co-operative has announced the installation of LED lighting in over 100 of its food stores, as part of its corporate responsibility strategy. Last year the co-operative became the fourth...

Central England Co-operative has announced the installation of LED lighting in over 100 of its food stores, as part of its corporate responsibility strategy.

Last year the co-operative became the fourth organisation worldwide – and the first in the retail sector – to achieve all four Carbon Trust Standards, by gaining certifications for reducing organisational water use, carbon and waste outputs and for engaging with the supply chain on sustainability.

“As a responsible business, we are committed to minimising our impact on the environment,” said Luke Olly, energy efficiency lead at Central England.

“Our activities across all of the business operations have made considerable positive environmental impacts, particularly by becoming a signatory of the Courtauld 2025 agreement to commit to reducing food waste by 20% by 2025 and installing glass doors to chiller cabinets as part of our new store and refurbishment programme.”

The society currently has LEDs fitted at 114 stores, and the latest venture involves installing the system in a further 118 food stores over the next twelve months. The project, which will be delivered by Engynius Ltd, will reduce the society’s carbon footprint by around 3.4% over the next two years and will save approximately £725,690 annually – or enough electricity to power 1,600 homes a year.

Related: Why retail is moving to an eco-friendly future

LEDs (light emitting diodes) use significantly less energy to create light compared with older technologies such as halogen or filament bulbs, meaning the same amount of light (or better) can be achieved for half the electricity usage.

Central England began the new LED roll-out at seven food stores, and Mr Olly said the initial results have been “promising”.

Luke Olly, Energy Efficiency Lead at Central England Co-operative
Luke Olly, Energy Efficiency Lead at Central England Co-operative

“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,” he commented. “Throughout the LED lighting initiative, we have informed customers through targeted messaging both in store and on social media using the hashtag #mycoopideas, which has been well received.

“We are dedicated to making a real difference – and being environmentally responsible plays an important part in our society’s overall success.”

He added that it is becoming “the norm” for organisations to actively integrate sustainable practices to improve processes, pursue growth and add value to operations.

“Retailers need to continue to support consumers in making informed decisions about what products to buy, while shifting towards the positive impacts businesses can have through implementing core business innovations and new technologies,” said Mr Olly.

“We are committed to a sustainable future through enhancing our impact, widening opportunities, promoting sustainability and strengthening supply chains, all of which build a positive corporate influence and makes a difference to our short and long-term value.

Mr Olly said the retail sector will inevitably face sustainable and environmental requirements set by the government over the coming years, which will drive the necessity for innovation and investment.

“Central England’s current environmental targets indicate a 35% carbon reduction by 2018 along with specific targets for water use, waste outputs, increased local suppliers and investing back into our local communities – which we are on target to achieving.

“As a responsible retailer, we are committed to improving the sustainability of our activities, operations and leading by example in the sector, by constantly reviewing new technologies and processes to find ways to reduce our impact.

“Everyone has a role to play in supporting sustainable practices and you can play your part today by switching to LED lighting.”

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