Energy Efficiency Winner: Sainsbury’s

Utilities are Sainsbury's single largest controllable cost after wages, which is why recognising best practice in energy efficiency is a critical part of the organisation's management strategy

In January 2012, Sainsbury’s successfully met its energy target to reduce CO2 emissions by 25% per square foot of sales area, three months ahead of schedule.

This achievement is a result of Sainsbury’s energy efficiency programme, which delivers tailored solutions to stores resulting in sustained reductions.

As part of the organisations energy management strategy, the programme’s aim is to set a store’s energy use at the optimal level for its size, equipment type and sales pattern.

Branded RESET, this retrofit programme focuses on Sainsbury’s existing estate which comprises of 1,000 stores and looks to achieve energy savings in the main areas of refrigeration (40% of store use) lighting (20%), heating and cooling (20%), bakery (10%).

In March 2012, RESET completed its fifth year and has changed the way the company works with contractors and how it engages with colleagues to save energy. “It reinforces the value of good maintenance to achieve sustained results” the company says.

Since its introduction, RESET has delivered over 570 supermarkets and 250 convenience stores touched at least once, with energy savings rising from an average 9% to exceeding its 12% target in the second and third year, and again rising to a 16.5% in its fifth year, despite 25% sales area growth over the same period.

Impressing those in the retail sector, since 2007/08, investment in RESET has generated energy savings equivalent to running 110 supermarkets annually via 14,000 initiatives, while, in its fifth year, the programme saved 51.7million kWh and 28,000 tCO2.

Adding to this, the programme’s lifespan to date has saved 250million kWh, 135,000 tCO2 and £21.6m.

Already well-known for its ambitious 20 by 20 Sustainability Plan, Sainsbury’s has established itself as one of the leading retailers to push the boundaries of energy efficiency at its stores in 2012.

Stretching its ambition to reduce operational carbon emissions by 30% absolute and 65% relative by 2020 versus 2005, Sainsbury’s 20 by 20 Sustainability Plan has adapted the RESET programme principles to deliver on site renewable energy technologies at scale.

To date, 7MW solar PV, 38 biomass boilers and 7 ground source heat pumps have been installed using RESET principles of detailed desk research and planning, smart contracts, training, right first time installation and supplier and colleague engagement to maximize the carbon benefits.

The RESET programme has been somewhat of an education for Sainsbury’s, as over the course of its existence it has taught the organisation how to deliver energy efficiency programmes at scale, value from installing meters, contracts incentivising correct first time installation of energy saving measures and delivery of targeted savings.

JUDGES’ COMMENTS: Sainsbury’s has taken a systematic approach, an absolutely clear lead and is dealing with the nitty gritty. Their entry made it obvious exactly how this fits into the hierarchy and how it has been built into both operations and thinking

ARK Bladeroom
Met Office
Royal Mail

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Energy Efficiency: Sainsbury’s

Waste Management: Food & Drink: Sainsbury’s

Sustainability Reporting: Coca Cola Enterprises

Renewable Energy: Northumbrian Water Group

Best Environmental Consultancy: Arup

Sustainability Practitioner: Kirsten Henson, KLH Sustainability

Water Management: ABP Food Group

Sustainable Transport: London 2012

Sustainable Building: P+HS Architects

Carbon Management: The Co-operative Group

Stakeholder Engagement: Sony Europe

Waste & Resource Management: Nextek

Sustainability Communications: The Co-operative Group

IEMA Graduate Award: Lorna Philbin

Sustainability Leader: Dale Vince, Ecotricity


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Entry to the 2013 Sustainability Leaders Awards will open at the beginning of March 2013. Bookmark our awards site to be kept in the loop.

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