Meeting day-to-day companies that want to reduce their environmental impact is a source of joy for us. Today we know that Use, a Valencian cooperative with 661 supermarkets throughout Spain, reduced its carbon footprint in 2015 by 2.6%. It achieved this by reducing its energy consumption (12,792 MWH less), its CO2 emissions (2,853 tonnes less) and by increasing recycling (17,416, 8 tonnes of cardboard, 1544.2 tonnes of plastic and 3, 44 tonnes of printer cartridges).
Reducing the carbon footprint generates significant and tangible benefits for companies and organizations, allows them to identify the points in their business processes where they pollute the most and encourages them to implement emission reduction policies to obtain international certificates that qualify them for having a low carbon footprint, in addition to complying with current environmental regulations. In this sense, the European Union has set itself ambitious goals, such as reducing energy consumption by 20% by 2020.
In the case of Consum, actions focus on efficient management of natural resources, waste and consumption. And what is no less important and for us something fundamental, involve all the personnel of the company in the implementation of these measures. Improving the training and information of your employees in particular, and of your customers in general, increases the success rate of the measures to be adopted.
The reduction of the carbon footprint must be accompanied by a significant investment by companies, a an investment that has its economic and environmental return. In companies like Consum, energy efficiency is an essential factor in the investment decisions they make on a daily basis, in addition to integrated temperature control systems or highly efficient devices.
Consum has invested 8.9 million euros in its energy saving and energy efficiency plan, measures aimed at reducing its environmental impact. The most important investment was the investment of 4.3 million euros in improving its refrigeration facilities.
This significant investment has meant savings for the cooperative of 16 million euros, almost double the amount invested. As we can see, investing in measures whose finality is economy and efficiency has its advantages, both economic for the companies that implement them and environmental for the population and the world in general.
With your energy saving and energy efficiency plan, Consumption has stopped emitting more than 33,000 tonnes of CO2.
The most important step they took was to expand their network of eco-efficient supermarkets, with a total of 317 with this name, 73% of their own network. These supermarkets consume 25% less electricity than a conventional supermarket.
The specific measures taken by Consum can be summarized as follows:
- Energy consumption: 70% of Consum’s consumption comes from renewable sources.
- Energy saving: Measures to change lighting to LEDs and other low-consumption lighting systems, to close furniture, murals and chests, as well as the use of waste heat.
- Recycling: In their supermarkets, they collected 58.95 tonnes of batteries, which is 35.5% more than in 2014. They recycled 17,416.8 tonnes of cardboard and 1,500 tonnes of plastic, 7.5% more than in 2014. ‘in 2014.
- By saving water: They reduced water consumption per sales area by 6 points.
- Substitution of the most polluting gases in refrigeration systems.
- Control of goods transport.
- Use of reusable bags of 15 uses. Certified by AENOR as reusable, made with recycled materials saving energy and water.
The involvement and investment of large companies in actions and measures aimed at reducing their environmental impact is essential to overcome the challenges that we currently face as a society. Climate change requires the effort and cooperation of everyone, both businesses and consumers.
As consumers, we have an obligation to trust responsible companies, which contribute with their environmental policies to reducing their carbon footprint and their impact on the environment on a daily basis.
One of Consum’s challenges in 2016 will be to overcome the first energy audit implemented by the Royal Decree on “urgent measures for competitiveness and energy efficiency”.
Examples to imitate.