Supermarket Goliath Sainsbury’s bolstered the campaign for solar energy with its 100,000th solar panel installation. This comes at the heels of the UK’s second largest supermarket chain as the country’s largest operator of rooftop solar panels.
This made Sainsbury’s capacity of installed panels to a total of 22MW to provide clean solar energy for 210 supermarkets across the UK. The estimate for slashing CO2 by 9,785 tonnes off the supermarket chain’s total emissions annually has accomplished a 9.1% reduction in the use of electricity for the company over four years despite space increase of 25%. According to the company’s head of engineering, Paul Crewe, this is a set of benefits from using solar panels and other renewable technologies they have installed for underutilised space.
Sainsbury’s Renewable Energy for Business Sustainability
Still according to Crewe, Sainsbury’s believes that renewable energy sources are fundamental to their business sustainability. The use of these sources helps supermarket giant Sainsbury’s to cut CO2 emissions which result in reduced energy bills. It is continuously supporting employment creation while pushing the company faster to achieve environmental targets it has set. Previously, the company expressed concerns regarding investment in its own solar portfolio as a result of the planned tariffs by the European Commission (EC) on solar imports from China. This could have detrimental impact on the solar industry and employment within its sector in the UK.
Reducing Environmental Impact
Against a base line from 2005, the company hopes to cut carbon emission totally by 30%. The company’s “20 By 20” plan aims the delivery of 20 commitments to environmental concerns by the decade’s end. The installed solar panels have the capacity to reduce carbon emissions by as much as 6,800 tonnes per year. According to Justin King, the company’s chief executive, the solar rollout is good not only for the environment but for their business as well. The company is, in fact, planning the installation of more panels to help in the reduction of environmental impact and curtailment of increasing costs.
Partnership with British Gas
Sainsbury’s has partnered with British Gas to provide its customers with access to the newest renewable energy deals, information, advice on energy saving, and energy technologies with the assistance of trained and experienced energy experts in selected outlets. The partnership of two of the UK’s leading companies has been hailed as ground-breaking. Customers can also obtain a Nectar offer from the supermarket chain’s gas and electricity which includes 10,000 points for the first year of usage. Customers can now avail of solar panels, insulation with competitive prices, and assessments for home energy at the supermarket outlets. Although some energy prices are lowest in the UK, British household tend to have the highest bills, a result of the absence of energy efficient solutions like insulation and a relatively low take-up of new renewable energy technologies. Based on recent surveys, 87% of the consumers in the UK are ignorant of microgeneration technologies and 80% of them, while aware of these innovations, are not sure or do not know where to purchase these items.