Chelmsford Star Co-op hits target for 25% cut in energy use

Measures include the installation of LED lighting and refrigerator doors, and the sourcing of renewable energy

Essex-based co-operative Chelmsford Star has this week hit its pledge – made five years ago – to reduce its energy consumption by over 25% by 2021.

“The key focus has been to reduce the consumption of electricity,” said Ellen Tredwin, the society’s secretary and head of management services, “which accounts for most of the society’s energy consumption.”

The reduction was achieved via a combination of colleague engagement and investment in new technologies, such as installing LED lighting, refrigeration doors and voltage optimisation units.

In addition, from 1st January 2021, the society’s electricity has been 100% green, generated from REGO backed renewable sources.

“We can track the power to five onshore wind projects that the Co-operative Group helped to develop, and Scottish Power’s Whitelee wind farm near Glasgow,” said Ms Tredwin. 

“By using renewable energy sources, we are committing to reducing our carbon emissions, air pollution and thus improving the beautiful county of Essex in which we live.”  

Chelmsford Star added that it diverts 99% of all waste produced away from landfill, which is assisted by all their stores having separate food bins to collect biodegradable waste, through anaerobic digestion.

Head of food Joe Kerr said: “We are partnered with Olio (a mobile app for food-sharing), which facilitates connections with residents who can use surplus food. The redistribution of this food alone is worth £8,500 in the year.”

He added: “The society also works in partnership with the Salvation Army to provide clothes recycling services, which this year has assisted customers in recycling 29 tonnes of clothing.” 

The co-op says it hopes to maintain these levels of reduction in energy use and continue to reduce its carbon emissions.