Midcounties Co-op announces 11% cut in energy use in a single year

‘Reducing our energy usage is a core element of our member-led sustainability strategy’

Midcounties Co-op says it has reduced energy usage across its businesses by 11% in a single year (2023/24) as it continues to work towards its commitment to cut direct greenhouse emissions by 50% by January 2026.

The society said the reduction was driven by a substantial investment into sustainability initiatives, including an investment of £8.6m towards energy efficiency projects over the past two years. This includes the replacement of refrigeration units in 50 food stores and the fitting of LED lighting in 139 more.

Costs have also been reduced by the measures: by cutting 5.2 millionkW of electricity, Midcounties has saved £1.65m in electricity charges in just one year. The society says it is committed to making further progress, pledging a further £800,000 investment in energy efficiency projects over the next 12 months, rolling out energy-efficiency measures to more stores.

More than 1,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions have been saved, the society added, helping it reduce its total greenhouse emissions by 32% compared to 2019 levels.

This keeps it “well on course” to achieve its target of a 50% cut in direct emissions by January 2026. In January, Midcounties’ targets were verified by the Science-based Targets Initiative (SBTi) as in line with the measures required to limit global temperature rise to 1.50C.

Last year the society – which is working with other co-ops to share best practice and cut emissions – won Energy Project of the Year at the EDIE Sustainability Leaders Awards.

Mike Pickering, head of sustainability at Midcounties, said: “Reducing our energy usage is a core element of our member-led sustainability strategy and the achievements we’ve made to date are a testament to the work of our fantastic colleagues across our society.

“But we don’t want to stop there, we’ll continue to invest in achieving our overarching sustainability targets, find new ways for our members and customers to make sustainable choices and ensuring that our sites and stores operate as energy efficiently as possible.”