Saturday, June 22, 2024

UK chain opens greenest store yet

Morrisons recently opened a “lower environmental impact store” on the south-east coast of England, the retailer’s latest initiative on its journey to becoming a more sustainable business.

The Morrisons Little Clacton store in Essex, 130km from London, incorporates the network’s widest range yet of structural features and loose products to reduce carbon emissions and conserve energy and resources.

Construction and operational emissions

During construction, Morrisons Little Clacton recycled 99% of the demolition materials from its old store into the new build, and reused and reduced steel to lower carbon emissions by a claimed 52%.

The construction also included the use of a special car park tarmac and installation of a rainwater harvesting system.

Morrisons says the Little Clacton store will have 43% lower operational emissions than a standard store. Carbon reduction is being achieved through features including:

  • Roof-installed solar panels providing nearly 20% of the store’s energy.
  • Air source heat pumps using waste heat from fridges for store heating and hot water.
  • ‘Next-generation’ fridges using carbon dioxide from agricultural waste instead of harmful hydrofluorocarbons.
  • EcoBlades fitted to fridge shelves, trapping cold air inside and reducing energy use.
  • Exclusive operation of electric vehicles (EVs) for online purchase deliveries.

Letting loose to reduce waste

The store houses Morrisons’ widest range of no-plastic products – priced the same or less than their standard equivalents – along with local and eco-product options.

Among the store’s 366 loose products with no plastic packaging are:

  • 70 products in refill hoppers, including pasta, coffee, home baking, pulses and herbs, as well as refillable household cleaning products and 11 ‘naked’ and refillable health and beauty products.
  • 76 types of fruit and veg.
  • A ‘loose’ bakery with 57 plastic free breads and buns.
  • 14 ‘loose’ pet foods.

Plastic-free shopping is also available for more than 110 products at the meat, fish and deli counters using refillable containers, while plastic packaging has been removed from milk (sold only in Tetra Pack) and water (sold in boxes and cans).

Targeting sustainability

Morrisons has committed to a range of environmental targets for carbon, plastic and waste. It plans to achieve net zero operational emissions by 2035 in line with the international Paris Agreement, has pledged a 50% reduction across its own-brand primary plastic packaging by 2025, and aims to recycle all the waste it creates, also by 2025.

Read more about Morrisons’ sustainability initiatives in the October issue of Retail World.

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