Three SuperValu stores in Cork teamed up with with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) to help to spearhead environmental change in both the Irish retail sector and their local community.
The SEAI is Ireland’s national energy authority investing in and delivering, appropriate, effective and sustainable solutions to help Ireland’s transition to a clean energy future.
The authority work with Government, homeowners, businesses and communities to achieve this, through expertise, funding, educational programmes, policy advice, research and the development of new technologies.
In partnership with the SEAI a total of ten SuperValu and Centra stores, both part of the Musgrave Group, across the country participated in the ‘Building Sustainable Communities’ initiative.
In Cork, these were SuperValu Midelton, SuperValu Newmarket and SuperValu Youghal.
The initiative called on the stores to identify and upgrade areas of their own operations which could be made more energy-efficient, in keeping with high standards of energy efficiency and renewable energy usage.
The overall objective of this initiative is to reduce energy costs, fossil fuel usage and greenhouse gas emissions year on year.
In SuperValu Youghal, new energy-efficient freezers were installed, leading to the energy usage reductions of over 95,000 kWh.
This is equivalent in energy terms to powering 23 houses per year in the local community.
Speaking in relation to their participation in the scheme, SuperValu Youghal store owner Peter Brookes said the partnership was "hugely successful".
"We look forward to continuing to work towards a more sustainable SuperValu Youghal over the next 12 months," he said.
Speaking in relation to their role within the initiative, Declan Meally, Head of Transport and Communities with SEAI commended the ten stores involved.
"It was great to see another ten stores across Ireland, with each stepping up to the plate to make sustainability improvements in store and provide some additional benefits for their wider communities," he said.
"Everyone can contribute to a sustainable future for Ireland by making sustainable changes.
"You can do this from home by reducing your energy usage; by perhaps starting with upgrading your lights to LED bulbs.
"We’re proud to once more support these projects with Musgraves and recognise that it is a successful model that has delivered each year and we look forward to working with more stores and communities across Ireland in the future,” Mr Meally continued.
Ian Allen, Managing Director for SuperValu and Centra, echoed this sentiment.
"As part of our sustainability plans, we are committed to making a real difference and creating a positive impact on communities across Ireland.
"We are constantly looking for ways in which we can operate our business in more environmentally friendly ways, for example, we are working to ensure that 100% of our ‘Own Brand’ range packaging will be recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025 and to reduce our carbon emissions to be net zero carbon by 2050.
"It’s even more rewarding to see our community buildings are also benefitting from this initiative and I look forward to the other positive changes we’ll make together in the future”, he said.
Meanwhile, in SuperValu Newmarket, the store had brand new solar PV panels installed on the roof.
"This installation led to energy usage reductions of over 59,000 kWh - the equivalent in energy terms to powering 14 houses per year in the local community.
"This was a hugely successful partnership with the SEAI for us and we’re delighted with the results so far.
"To visibly see our energy bills reduced while also making a positive impact on the environment is truly rewarding. "We look forward to continuing to work towards a more sustainable SuperValu Newmarket over the next 12 months," SuperValu Newmarket owner Jim O’Keeffe said.
Over 500 communities are members of SEAI’s community network.
These communities are working towards a common goal to become more energy-efficient, use renewables where possible and explore smart energy technologies.