Waitrose enhances its green credentials

Waitrose has made advances in its commitment 'to improve the environment and to contribute to the wellbeing' in the communities where they trade.

The retailer has won planning permission for a biomass plant at a new store on the Isle of Wight, meaning it will be the first supermarket in the UK to go off grid.

The newly opened East Cowes store is expected to be powered by the innovative energy centre by next summer. The plant will use wood-chip from sustainably managed woodlands on the Isle of Wight. Energy from the plant will also be used for heating for other developments in the local area.

The shop has other environmentally friendly features including HFC-free fridges and uses cold air retrieval instead of air conditioning. It has also fitted sun pipes to let in natural light to both the store and its offices.

Waitrose East Cowes branch manager, Richard Tudor Thomas, said: “Now that we have permission for the energy centre, I look forward to East Cowes being the most sustainable supermarket store in the UK when the centre is up and running next year.”

In another project the retailer is installing charging stations for electric vehicles at some of its key stores as part of its ‘green travel plan’ initiative. The initiative intends to encourage customers to utilise greener transport alternatives.

Waitrose has chosen provider, Chargemaster Plc to install posts at three stores. One has already been installed at one of its newest stores in York, which is Waitrose’s flagship store for embracing carbon cutting initiatives.

Waitrose’s concessions manager, Don Finn, said: “The rise in electric vehicle ownership is something we cannot ignore.

“We want to ensure that we not only provide valuable services to our customers by installing the charging points, but that we look at ways to reduce carbon emissions and pollution that benefit the whole community.”

Alison Brown

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