New 'eco store' part of Tesco green strategy


The Irish Times has reported that s upermarket giant Tesco plans to open its first 'eco store' in Tramore, Co Waterford, in October of this year, at a cost of €12.5 million.

The 30,000sq ft store will use 45 per cent less energy and save 420 tonnes in carbon emissions - a 30 per cent reduction in CO2 for Tesco.

Details of the investment were unveiled by Tesco Ireland chief executive, Tony Keohane at the IMI conference, which took place in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow on 3rd and 4th April.

The latest development is part of a €30 million investment by the company in measures to reduce the environmental impact of its stores here. Similar stores have been opened by Tesco in the UK, continental Europe, Asia and the US. The new store has been granted planning permission and will be located on the edge of Tramore - employing about 110 staff.

Mr Keohane said that the supermarket was costing €2.5 million more to construct than conventional supermarkets, due to the design of the building and the new technologies that will be used. Tesco, which has 103 outlets in Ireland, calculates that, over time, it would receive a return from reduced energy savings.

Mr Keohane told The Irish Times that timber columns would be used in the store in preference to steel, together with - solar panels to generate electricity, better insulation, more efficient baking ovens, air retrieval and recycling measures and new technology to create self-sufficiency for heating and hot water. "We have been proactively investing and trialling new technologies in our stores across the country and, as a result, we have developed a more sustainable blueprint for our new buildings" - he said.

"This is not just about short-term environment-friendly initiatives - important though some of those may be - but about transforming our business model so that the reduction of our carbon footprint becomes a central driver of our business and not some PR add-on" - he added.

Mr Keohane detailed other measures that Tesco is taking to reduce its environmental impact. These include -

  • measuring the carbon footprint of 30 Tesco own-brand products
  • running its distribution fleet on a biodiesel mix - and
  • introducing six double-decker trucks to save on road miles.

Tesco is also trying to encourage local farmers to regrow certain produce. "We have been actively working with farmers in north Dublin to start to grow certain products, displace imports and extend their growing seasons" - he explained. "Irish tomatoes, onions and peppers are now more common than imports - and seasons for others such as baby potatoes, carrots, courgettes and strawberries, have been lengthened."

In terms of expansion, a new Express store will open on Parnell Street in Dublin. Mr Keohane confirmed that Express outlets are also being planned for Cork, along with more filling stations.

Source - Irish Times