Solar panels and strawberries

One of the UK’s biggest and most popular supermarkets has proven just how dedicated it is to energy efficiency, having revealed that it has just installed its 100,000th solar panel. 

photoRepresenting a total installed capacity of 22MW across 210 stores, with enough panels to cover around 35 football pitches, supermarket giant Sainsbury’s – who claim to be the largest rooftop solar operator in the country – says the panels will enable them to reduce their carbon emissions of around 9,785 tonnes per annum.

Sainsbury’s only started its solar panel roll out last year, and has set itself an ambitious target to cut its carbon footprint in half by 2030. In the meantime it’s on a mission to slash emissions by 30% (absolute) and 65% (relative) by 2020.

And it’s not just stopping at solar PV panels either. The company has embraced a range of renewable energy technologies including ground source heat pumps, biomass boilers and solar hot water. For example a store in Crayford meets 30% of its energy requirements with a heat pump, while 74 stores have had biomass boilers installed to generate a portion of heat.

Commenting on the supermarket’s use of renewable energy technologies, Paul Crewe, head of engineering, sustainability, energy and environment said:

“We believe they are fundamental to the sustainability of our business and there is a strong commercial case for using each technology. They are helping us cut carbon emissions and energy bills and achieve the environmental targets we set ourselves in our stretching 20×20 Plan.”

Since 2009 Sainsbury’s has cut its electricity consumption by 9.1%.

In other news, over the past five weeks the supermarket giant has sold 200 million individual strawberries – 50 million more than they managed to sell in 2012.

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