Waste and Recycling

Since November 2013 all our stores back-haul their waste to depot, rather than sending it to landfill. Our back-hauled waste is diverted from landfill and goes to energy recovery, anaerobic digestion or recycling. This would not be possible without our store, depot and driver staff working to make this a reality.

Energy Saving

We have achieved a 40% reduction in our carbon emissions since 2006 and we are coming close to reducing our energy use by the same amount. 

Energy saving through new technology


Our stores are being fitted with more energy efficient LED lights. There are many benefits of using LEDs – they last longer, are more efficient and need less maintenance. Depending on the lighting that they are replacing they can save each store between £1,000 and £3,000 in energy costs each year.

Doors on Fridges

We are adding doors on to the fridges in many of our stores, and we are continuing to lead the way in this. We have found that the doors help reduce the energy a fridge uses by 40%, which is significant when fridges make up, on average, 60% of a store’s energy usage. And as the fridges are not working so hard, we don't need such large heating systems. Plus, the stores are warmer to shop in!

Fridge Cooling

We are continuing to develop new technology in fridges. In 2014, we won the Convenience Retail Project of the Year at the Cooling Awards for the fridge used at the 1 Angel Square store. This fridge uses carbon dioxide as to cool itself of other more environmentally damaging gases such as HCFCs or HFCs.

Online and Energy Management Systems

Over 2,700 Energy Management Systems were installed by the end of 2014, which has allowed us to have remote access to the fridges in those stores. This means that we can remotely dial in and alter settings, and even carry out remote repairs, saving on engineer call outs.

Heating system

We have introduced Building Management Systems for heating, allowing us to control store heating remotely, which has helped us use up to 14% less fuel. The system monitors the internal and external temperatures and store opening times, to make sure the heating is only being used when it is needed.

In some stores we also use solar power to maintain hot water. This means the water is heated by a boiler and then we uses energy from the sun to maintain the heat.

Green Energy Procurement and Production

Almost all the electricity that we source for our estate comes from ‘green’ sources. We have developed this relationship into a green energy buying consortium, Co-operative Power, which purchases electricity and gas for 41 other organisations.

We also generate a lot of our own renewable energy. Most recently we have launched our third wind farm at Biggleswade in Bedfordshire.

The wind farm is generating about 45 million KW hours per year and makes up over 5% of The Co-operative Group's electricity needs.

In 2014 we received sign-off on our fourth wind farm, which will be located in Goole. It will take us close to our target of producing 25% of our green electricity usage from our own renewable energy sources.

Water Leak Management 

Since 2013 we have reduced our overall water consumption by 94,764 cubic metres. That equals...

38 Olympic size swimming pools

C02 Management 

The carbon emissions from our operations have been reduced by 39% since 2006.

39% Reduction in CO2

Renewable Energy 

Last year (2014) 99% of the total energy used by the Co-op Group came from renewable sources. 

12.3% from Renewables