Saving the earth – and lots of cash

Dairy fridge with chillscoop

Leading by example, Woodlands Local has recently undergone a major environmental refit that sees the entire store converted with ultra-green technologies.

by Antony Begley


Like all retailers, we are always keen to do our bit when it comes to reducing our carbon footprint, particularly when doing so also involves reducing our overheads – and that’s exactly what we did last month with the installation of a comprehensive package of environmental upgrades to the store.

We’ve been working with green consultancy Enviroglow to develop a package of solutions that will improve our green credentials, enhance the shopper experience and, importantly, reduce our energy costs.

What we’ve installed

Refrigeration

  • 2 x new 3.6m Evolve cabinets

LED Lighting

  • 20 x QDpanel LED lighting panels
  • 1 x QDlitemove sensor 6W
  • 1 x QDtube 900mm
  • 9 x QDtube 1200mm
  • 4 x QDtube 1500mm
  • 3 x QDflood50

ECO-Chill

  • 3 x Bluewind
  • 6 x EcoFlow
  • 1.9 x Chillscoop metres

iTrack

  • 4 x ScanTrack (internal)
  • 1 x HighTrack (external)
  • 1 x SolarTrack (external)
  • 5 x TimeTrack (remote)
  • 1 x TimeTrack (integral)
  • 3 x iPhase

TOTAL COST:

  • around £30,000

The result is a significant refit of big chunks of the store. Over seven metres of ultra energy efficient dairy deck chillers installed; we’ve fitted the chillers with Enviroglow’s own set of proprietary technologies to further improve their efficiency; we’ve replaced every bulb in the store with energy efficient LED equivalents, including every ceiling panel light; we’ve fitted voltage optimisers; we’ve added motion sensors for the lights throughout the store; and we’ve added a sophisticated tracking and monitoring system that manages the lot automatically.

Save, save, save

In essence, we are tackling the areas of the store that consume the most electricity: refrigeration, heating and lighting. It’s still early days but the technology is set to almost half our energy bill every year.

The guarantee-backed projections are that the store’s annual electricity usage will plummet from 53,226kWh to just 27,777kWh. In cash terms that equates to around £2,500 a year in savings.

The return on investment period is just 34 months. Enviroglow even back this up with a guaranteed minimum monthly savings figure of £169. If we don’t make that saving, they will fund the difference.

Importantly, these financial savings are reflected in a massive 47.8% reduction in CO2 emissions – something we can be proud of, and something that will feature heavily in a lot of our customer-facing communications over coming months.

We’ve already featured the refit in our three-weekly customer leaflet, reassuring our shoppers that their store is greener than ever and they can shop with a clear conscience.

Bonus effects

The benefits of the new kit don’t end there however, as the new chillers are taller, deeper and brighter, allowing us to present a broader ranger more attractively than ever. The new ceiling with in-built LED panels makes the entire store brighter and more appealing. The motion-sensitive lighting saves energy and makes working in the storage areas easier.

All in, the investment appears to have been a very sound one. We will report as we move forward on exactly what impact the kit has on our energy bills.


A word from the boss…

Well, 2015 didn’t take long to give us a boot in privates! There we were feeling all pleased with ourselves after turning the store super green when the roof falls in on us – literally.

You couldn’t make some of this stuff up. The Enviroglow team finished the installation on the Tuesday evening, then in the wee small hours of Friday morning a huge bit of the roof collapsed, taking out a fairly big chunk of our brand new ceiling and four of our fancy new LED roof panels. I wasn’t involved in the conversation with the insurers but I’m sure it must have been a cracker. We only just altered the insurance to cover the new kit a day or so earlier! Anyway, if retail has taught me anything in the last couple of years it’s that there’s always something ready to go wrong around the corner! Still, we’ve got it all tidied up and I remain defiantly positive that 2015 is going to be an amazing year. I hope it is for you too!

Gerry