Pick n Pay has more than achieved its target on reducing carbon emissions set in 2010 – a full year ahead of schedule. The company is now focusing on reducing emissions further, through greater in-store energy efficiency and other means.
David North, Group Strategy and Corporate Affairs Director at Pick n Pay, explains that reducing carbon emissions in stores and distribution centres has been a key sustainability goal for Pick n Pay for a number of years: “In 2010, Pick n Pay set a target to reduce carbon emissions by 15% by 2015. We have met and exceeded this goal ahead of our target date. Measured against our 2010 baseline of stores, our emissions have already been cut by 19.4%. We reduced carbon emissions per square meter by 4% in 2013 alone” says North.
The Group has reduced energy use per square metre by 30% against its 2008 baseline. As a result of this and other work, Pick n Pay is currently the leading retailer across Africa in the highly respected global Carbon Disclosure Project. “As a result of our work on reducing energy and carbon emissions, we have saved around R508 million since 2008” added North.
As a result of our work on reducing energy and carbon emissions, we have saved around R508 million since 2008
Because 85% of Pick n Pay’s carbon emissions from buildings arise from electricity consumption, achieving greater energy efficiency has been crucial. Successful initiatives have included helping staff to save energy in stores, more efficient lighting, and improvements in refrigeration plant control. “Energy efficiency is at the core of our new store designs. Our new stores which opened in 2013 are up to 44% more energy efficient than stores opened in 2010. In the past financial year 28 existing stores have been retrofitted with energy-efficient lighting and 33 with energy-efficient refrigeration. We are not just focusing on our stores. Our two flagship Distribution Centers are fitted with daylight harvesting, as well as motion sensors and are 20-25% more energy efficient as a result,” says North.
Approximately R55 million was invested in lighting and refrigeration retrofits in 2013, already generating savings of R14.5 million over the first year. According to North, “This year will see further investments in voltage optimization and dashboards for our refrigeration monitoring.”
“Providing staff with the means to measure, manage and reduce energy use is crucial”, North explained. “All corporate stores now have online metering and sub-metering of electricity, and store managers have access to dashboard reporting of the energy use within their store, allowing them to manage energy more efficiently. This includes being alerted to incorrect air-conditioning timer settings, and inefficient refrigeration units that increase energy consumption unnecessarily. This was expanded to 30 Boxer stores and to all Pick n Pay distribution centres in 2013. In addition, the use of key-switches to turn off store lights at night can introduce savings of up to 14 400 kWh per store per year, while key-switches for bakery ovens can reduce consumption with a further 36 000 kWh per year”.
Pick n Pay is also focusing on reducing fugitive emissions from refrigerant and air-conditioning gases. “We are addressing the environmental impacts of fugitive emissions in two ways: by reducing the amount of leakages and by replacing the gases with less harmful alternatives. For example, 20% of our corporate stores use CO2 for refrigeration, while almost all our new stores opened in 2013 used a combination of CO2 and other gases, with much lower global warming impact.
One of Pick n Pay’s innovative initiatives for addressing emissions is using TukTuks to do most of their online shopping home deliveries. “TukTuks use a third of the diesel that trucks do per 100kms. Our fuel consumption in our online fleet dropped by 16% despite a 30% increase in kilometers driven and a 27% increase in orders,” explains North.