Last week, supermarket giant Sainsbury’s announced that they have reached a significant milestone in their 20x20 sustainability plan, which outlines Sainsbury’s intentions to achieve 20 sustainable commitments by 2020.
Since 2008, Sainsbury’s has installed 74 biomass boilers in it’s stores, and ground source heat pumps in 12 stores. Most recently, over 200 stores have been fitted with photovoltaic solar panels. 100,000 solar panels have been installed so far, on what Sainsbury’s rightly calls “underutilised space”. The panels alone will help to reduce the company’s total C0₂ emissions by an estimate of 9,785 tonnes per year.
Paul Crewe, Sainsbury’s Head of Engineering, Sustainability, Energy and Environment has said: "We’ve achieved a 9.1% absolute reduction in electricity use over the past four years in our supermarkets, despite a 25% increase in space, and we’re really seeing the benefits from using our underutilised space for solar panels, and from the other renewable technologies we’ve installed.
"We believe they are fundamental to the sustainability of our business and there is a strong commercial case for using each technology. They are helping us cut carbon emissions and energy bills and achieve the environmental targets we set ourselves in our stretching 20x20 Plan. It’s good news for the environment and is supporting job creation in the UK’s renewable energy sector."
Sainsbury’s 20x20 commitments include producing healthier food, doubling the quantity of British food purchased, animal welfare, sustainable fishing, and reducing product packaging and internal waste. Not only will commitments such as these benefit Sainsbury’s and their customers, but also the environment, the British people, animals, and in turn, the wider world.