Greggs adds solar energy to carbon-cutting recipe

Britain's largest bakery chain, Greggs, has strengthened efforts to cut CO2 emissions by fitting ten of its sites across the UK with solar panels.

Totalling 1.28MW, the solar arrays will cut Greggs’ CO2 emissions by 600 tonnes per year, as well as help the company reduce its carbon footprint by 25% by 2015.

Social responsibility manager at Greggs, Stephen Weldon, said: “As a responsible business, we have a duty to manage our energy consumption by becoming more energy efficient in our bakery and retail operations.

“The installation of PV panels on our bakery roofs provided the perfect opportunity to make use of a previously unused resource (roof space); take advantage of the Government’s Feed-In-Tariff scheme and generate carbon-neutral electricity for use in the bakeries, and, therefore, reduce the amount of fossil fuel we need to buy and consume,” he added.

The solar project will coincide with other energy efficiency measures, such as the increased roll-out of smart meters, to meet its 25% carbon reduction target.

In 2012, Greggs reduced its energy consumption by 3.5%, bringing its combined reduction against a 2010 base year to 8.9%.

Further efforts to improve the fuel-efficiency of its 240 distribution vehicles have also helped Greggs cut its emissions.

Having piloted its vehicle telematics and driver training initiative in 2011, the wider rollout this year delivered an 11.1% reduction in carbon (tonnes per kilometre per shop) against a target of 1.5%.

However, the company did not achieve its 2012 retail carbon reduction target of -1.5%, instead increasing by 0.1%. Despite this, Greggs did deliver a 7.4% saving in carbon within its supply chain operations against a target of 3%.

Leigh Stringer

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