Midcounties Co-op has won Energy Project of the Year at the Edie 2023 Awards in recognition of its work around sustainability.
The Edie Awards have been showcasing excellence across the green business sector for 16 years, and the energy project category highlights proactive energy management using technology and systems techniques to achieve significant energy savings.
Midcounties impressed the 25 judges with its member-led sustainability strategy, which the co-op says has come out of extensive research and engagement with its members, broader stakeholders, and industry experts.
As part of this strategy, the society has committed to cutting greenhouse emissions by 50% over the next five years.
In its food stores, Midcounties says it reduced electricity usage by 8.8% in 2022 compared to the previous year. This saved more than 870 tonnes of CO2 and £1.2m.
The savings have come from investments in tech such as LED lighting and energy-efficient refrigeration, as well as work to raise colleague awareness of the importance of energy efficiency in the workplace.
Midcounties also conducted research to identify and provide low carbon products and services to its members, including the Community Power Tariff from its utilities business. The UK’s only tariff powered by renewable electricity from community projects, it supplies over 60,000 homes and has Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with 200 community energy groups.
Midcounties has also set up an Energy Reduction Steering Group, comprised of its CEO, board executives, senior management and property experts, to help oversee and drive forward the sustainability strategy.
CEO Phil Ponsonby said “We are striving to make a positive impact. This award recognises that and how we’re leading the way in energy management as we continue to support the growth of community renewable energy projects as well as reducing our energy usage across our operations.
“We’re hugely proud of this achievement and we couldn’t have done it without the support of all our members, customers and colleagues.”