Energy and carbon management
Reducing our energy consumption and its associated carbon emissions is an important issue, not only for the UK but globally, and we are keen to play our part. That is why energy and carbon management form one of our four main strategic corporate social responsibility priorities.
Energy use within buildings is the largest contributor to our carbon emissions, with our stores being the main users of energy. With around 2,500 stores of varying size, type and age, it's a big challenge. Yet we understand the impact that our operations have, and are working hard to reduce this as detailed below.
Helping to deliver a low carbon economy
The Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC EES) league table was published in November 2011.This is a mandatory scheme aimed at improving energy efficiency and cutting emissions in large public and private sector organisations. Boots UK, as part of Alliance Boots, achieved a position in the top 10% of this league table.
We aim not only to be compliant with energy and carbon legislation but to influence the future energy and carbon legislative landscape, supporting simplification and legislation that rewards efficiency and investment in low carbon technology. In 2011/12 we participated in the drafting of policies, responding to consultations, engaging directly with key organisations such as the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), and worked with retail sector groups such as the British Retail Consortium and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).
In October 2011 we were successful in our re-certification of the Carbon Trust Standard, an external accreditation that demonstrates Boots UK's commitment to reducing its carbon footprint. We were able to demonstrate carbon reductions over the previous three years, and that robust processes are in place in order to reduce our footprint. We also showed how we will continue to deliver further carbon savings and how we are responding to the low carbon challenge through governance, carbon accounting, and carbon management.
Setting the blueprint for low carbon technology in our stores
In May 2011 we completed the refurbishment of our Eastbourne store at the Sovereign Park edge of town shopping centre. This store provided an opportunity to trial a range of low carbon solutions. Incorporating a range of around 20 different measures, from smart metering to solar panels, and the optimum use of daylight for ambient lighting, the new store was designed to deliver an overall carbon emissions reduction of around a third. To date the store has exceeded our expectations, delivering reductions of over 40% during 2011/12.
The project won the Energy Efficient Refurbishment award at the Environment & Energy Awards 2012, which celebrates excellence and innovation from businesses and technology providers in the marketplace.
We are constantly learning what works well for our stores, and continue to shape our store design to reduce the amount of energy used, and to maximise new technologies in the most innovative and cost efficient way.
Increasing the energy efficiency of our buildings
Our energy reduction programme focuses on two key areas: technology and engineering solutions, and behaviour change.
In the last three years we have invested around £15 million in technology to reduce energy consumption in our stores. Examples include:
- replacement of inefficient equipment, voltage optimisation and projects to improve our heating and ventilation (HVAC)
- installing building management systems to improve our control of store environments and ensuring that the running times of energy consuming equipment matches the operational patterns of these stores
- replacement of outdated and inefficient lighting. LED (light emitting diode) lighting is now standard in all our 'Midnight Pharmacy' signage, and in new store fascias. See the case studies for more details on some of these projects
- testing new and renewable technologies to find the right energy reducing solutions for our retail stores.
In February and March 2012 we undertook a colleague energy engagement pilot across more than 20 stores in Poole and Bournemouth. An energy audit was undertaken by our store managers, who were then given a report for their store to help them identify areas where energy was being wasted.
Our best improvements came at our Lymington store, which saved over 13%.
"I loved the energy audit report, it really helped me understand simply where I was using energy in my store," said Store Manager Peter Burden. "I shared the results with my team who enthusiastically set out to make energy saving part of their day job. We even managed to set equipment on a timer so that it switched on and off in line with our opening hours".
Teams are becoming increasingly engaged and motivated to help us achieve our challenging energy reduction targets. A key part of this engagement initiative was providing stores with accurate and timely data, so that they understand what they are using and can see it reducing through their efforts.
The stores were able to reduce their energy consumption by 3.5% on average, simply by changing their behaviour and taking straightforward actions such as switching off lights when not required, setting thermostats correctly, and closing doors where possible to maintain store conditions. Our colleague energy engagement approach is being rolled out across our largest stores during 2012/13.
During the year we reduced our total energy use in buildings by 8.6%, from 525 GWh in 2010/11 to 480 GWh in 2011/12.
Energy use in buildings (absolute GWh)
Trends in total energy use are influenced by a wide range of factors including business intensification, fluctuations in consumption due to changes in the weather, and savings from our energy efficiency projects in stores.
In the same period our total carbon dioxide emissions from energy use in buildings reduced by 8.2% (from 223.8 thousand tonnes in 2010/11 to 205.5 thousand tonnes in 2011/12).
Carbon emissions from energy use in buildings (tonnes CO2)
|tonnes CO2 ('000s)
Boots UK Mayday Network Commitment
We are making progress towards our long-term Mayday Network Commitment to reduce the carbon footprint of Boots legacy stores* by 30% by 2020 compared to 2005. At the end of March 2012 we had achieved a 16.6% reduction compared to 2005 (equivalent to an annual reduction of 27.1 thousand tonnes of carbon dioxide).
|CO2 000's tonnes
*Boots stores prior to the 2006 merger between Boots Group PLC and Alliance Unichem PLC, and still trading.