Tesco aims for zero

Green buildings were high on the agenda at the CBI Summit on Climate Change, with Tesco showcasing its zero carbon store in Ramsey, Cambridgeshire.

Tesco has been developing stores with lower carbon footprints since 2005, aims to halve its emissions by 2020 and be a zero carbon business by 2050, working with suppliers to achieve this goal.

Ramsey was the world’s first zero carbon supermarket when it was opened in2009.

The store was built with sustainable wood, LED lighting and a combined heat and power plant powered with renewable fuel.

The store has no net carbon footprint and exports back any extra electricity generated to the national grid.

Helen Fleming, climate change director at Tesco said growing sustainably made business sense. It saves money through energy efficiency, estimated at £100 million per year for Tesco, delivers energy efficiency and meets customer expectations.

The Ramsey store uses clean technologies and energy efficient features to achieve its zero carbon status. It uses timber from sustainable sources instead of steel.

A Combined Heat and Power plant which runs on bio fuels from renewable sources provides the energy. Refrigerant gases are used in the fridges, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

Electricity use and supply is energy efficient including in-store lighting that dims as the natural daylight increases and roof lights that let the daylight on to the sales floor.

The car park and petrol station has LED lighting. Rainwater collection facilities on the roof provide water for the car wash and store toilets.

Helen Fleming called for a ‘greening of the planning system’ to overcome the barriers to building sustainably. Planning and building regulations were often unhelpful, she said, such as restrictions on using wind turbines because of the visual impact.

She appealed to governments to increase incentives with long term certainty that will continue to allow for companies to build them into long-term planning and a CRC single price for all across the board.

Alison Brown

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