Coop Denmark wins international energy award

‘With these energy efficiency measures, Coop demonstrates that it is a healthy, green business to reduce the climate footprint and increase its green ambitions’

Coop Denmark picked up the top honour at the Energy Management Leadership Awards hosted by the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM), an international clean energy platform.

The co-op won the Award of Excellence in Energy Management, which recognises companies and organisations that use the global ISO 50001 energy management system (EnMS) standard to attain enduring improvement in energy performance.

The retailer has reduced CO2 emissions from energy consumption by 42,000 tonnes since 2016 and has thus saved DKK 150m in energy costs.

The award will be presented at the annual CEM Forum, which this year will be held in Goa, India. where the G20 meeting will also be held in September. Dan Jørgensen, minister for development co-operation and global climate policy, who will participate in this year’s CEM Forum, said: “The award to Coop shows once again that Danish business is at the forefront of green. 

“With these energy efficiency measures, Coop demonstrates that it is a healthy, green business to reduce the climate footprint and increase its green ambitions. This, I hope, can inspire the rest of the world.”

Kræn Østergaard Nielsen, CEO of Coop, said: “The world is in a climate crisis, which requires companies to take responsibility for energy consumption and CO2 emissions. This has been a major focus for us at Coop since 2016, and although we have a long journey ahead of us, we have come a long way. We are certified for the energy management system ISO 50001, we follow an ambitious climate plan, and we continuously initiate specific energy optimisation projects in stores and warehouses. It makes me incredibly proud that we get international recognition for it and are highlighted as the good example.”

“CEM applauds all the Energy Management Leadership awardees,” said Prasoon Agarwal, acting head of the CEM Secretariat. “This awards programme was put in place to recognise leading organisations for their innovations in energy management, attaining impressive reductions in their energy use and associated emissions.

“The 2023 award winners are forward-thinking energy efficiency leaders in their respective industries, who provide real-world case studies of energy management systems, showcasing the clear business case for investing in energy efficiency. On behalf of CEM and all its stakeholders, I congratulate the awardees, and also acknowledge their efforts towards our shared sustainable future.”

To qualify for the award, Coop Denmark had to establish an energy management system at one or more company facilities, system certified to ISO 50001 via a third-party audit by an accredited certification body. 

“When it comes to decarbonisation, there is ultimately no boundary between the public and private sectors, just as there is no boundary to contain climate impacts to one nation or region,” said Tareq Emtairah, director of the Decarbonization and Sustainable Energy Division of the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

“The awardees recognise that businesses can mitigate their energy consumption and impact, and they have stepped up to play leading roles in addressing that shared challenge. In doing so, these organisations are demonstrating that energy management is not only an effective sustainability strategy but also a sound business practice.

“Benefits range from reduced energy costs to improved product quality to better working conditions that enhance productivity. And attaining these benefits doesn’t always require expensive projects or next-generation technologies. Small changes to optimise processes can have big impacts. Many thanks to the awardees – both past and present – for highlighting the significant role that energy efficiency can and must play in the energy transition.”

CEM praised Coop Denmark for having developed a climate action plan later approved by the international Science-Based Targets initiative to ensure alignment with Paris Agreement goals. The climate plan aims to reduce Coop’s CO2 emissions from its own operations by 91% in 2030, requiring a 17% reduction in total energy consumption.

As part of this plan, Coop Denmark introduced  ISO 50001 for systematic energy improvements in 2016 and established a climate department and an energy department. Other initiatives included rolling out multiple company-wide energy management projects, such as replacing 200,000 traditional light bulbs with LEDs; updating heating, ventilation, and cooling strategies; limiting the number and use of energy-consuming devices; and using Coop communication vehicles to involve all 40,000 employees in energy management. The retailer has also installed solar cells and electric vehicle charging stations to minimise its fossil fuel consumption. Since the 2016 launch, Coop has reduced energy costs by US$29m and energy consumption by 24%, equivalent to 42,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions.