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Colruyt invests €75m to cut its stores' carbon footprint

08:00 13/06/2017

Supermarket group Colruyt is to invest €75 million in renovating more than 200 of its stores to operate on low energy. The project will run for 12 years, with the aim of cutting the chain’s carbon dioxide output by 4% in that time.

Ten years ago, Colruyt committed that all its new buildings would be low-energy. The latest stage of the plan to cut the company’s environmental impact involves renovating older stores – 234 from a total of 516, mainly Colruyt and OKay branches. One of the first renovated stores is due to open in Knokke this week, with progress expected at a rate of about 20 stores a year.

“Renovating to save energy involves extra insulation, making the place more airtight and introducing new technology where necessary, in every store more than 10 years old where we are the owner,” explained Koen Baetens, Colruyt Group’s director of technical services. “Thanks to this investment, the group’s carbon dioxide emissions will go down by 4%, roughly equivalent to what 1,975 houses produce from heating in a year.”

Some of that new technology includes heat pumps for warm water, propane- or propylene-powered refrigeration installations, and heating powered by heat recycled from refrigeration units. Electricity is 100% green, meaning no fossil fuels have been used in its production. Later this year, the first OKay stores using no fossil fuels at all will open.

Photo courtesy Colruyt Group

Written by Alan Hope (Flanders Today)