One of Ireland’s Largest Retailers and Wholesalers Are Shining A Light On Sustainability With Extensive Store Energy Upgrades
SuperValu, Centra and Musgrave MarketPlace stores have teamed up with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) for the ninth consecutive year to spearhead environmental change in the Irish retail sector and beyond through their ‘Building Sustainable Communities’ initiative.
Once again in partnership with the SEAI, a number of community upgrade projects were completed, with 10 stores across Ireland participating in the initiative. The community grant scheme administered by SEAI supported the project with a total investment value of €265,000.
The initiative calls on stores to identify and upgrade areas of their own operations which can be made more energy efficient, in keeping with high standards of energy efficiency and renewable energy usage, but also enables them to identify community buildings in their area to donate funds and enable them to upgrade their facilities.
The objective of the initiative is to reduce energy costs, fossil fuel usage and greenhouse gas emissions year on year.
This a huge undertaking of both time and capital, with over €1.2m invested by the stores that participated in 2020 whereby several energy-saving measures and solutions were implemented.
SuperValu, Centra and Musgrave MarketPlace have said the Building Sustainable Communities initiative is one they are ‘extremely passionate’ about, adding that the long-term difference it makes in their local communities makes their investment and efforts worthwhile.
This year, the community buildings associated with stores who participated in the scheme received up to €129,000 between them as a result of energy saving measures implemented by their respective SuperValu, Centra and Musgrave Marketplace stores.
Community buildings and clubs who benefitted include;
- Midleton Football Club, Cork
- Midleton Rugby Club, Cork
- Carndonagh FC, Donegal
- Peamount FC, Dublin
- Cuala GAA Club, Dublin
- Ballybunion Leisure Centre, Kerry
- Ballybunion Community Centre, Kerry
- Kings Island Community Centre, Limerick
- Dungarvan Rugby Club, Waterford
In their clubhouses and buildings, upgrades included the installation of new heat pumps and insulation, others had windows and doors replaced, with the remaining associations opting for new energy efficient LED lighting.
These upgrades put funds back into the pockets of nominated community groups during a challenging year, reducing yearly energy bills by almost €19,000 or 147,000 thermal KWH savings. This is equivalent in energy terms to powering 43 houses per year.
The 10 stores involved in this year’s Building Sustainable Communities initiative were:
- SuperValu Youghal, Cork
- SuperValu Newmarket, Cork
- SuperValu Midleton, Cork
- SuperValu Carndonagh, Donegal
- SuperValu Sundrive, Dublin
- Centra Newtownpark Avenue, Dublin
- SuperValu Rush, Dublin
- SuperValu Ballybunion, Kerry
- Musgrave MarketPlace Limerick
- SuperValu Dungarvan, Wateford
Soaring to new heights with their sustainability credentials this year, a number of the stores installed solar PV panels to their roofs. Not only are these stores conserving energy through LED lighting upgrades and new refrigeration systems, but they are now creating their own eco-friendly energy to power their stores.
A shining example of the fantastic strides being made in their green endeavours is SuperValu Ballybunion, Co Kerry. The store underwent a refrigeration and LED lighting update in 2017 which greatly reduced their electricity consumption and carbon footprint by almost 30%. This year, the store had PV solar panels installed which has reduced their carbon footprint by a further 20% now that the store is generating its own green energy.
On the Centra side, their store in Newtownpark Avenue, Blackrock, also made huge energy savings as a result of new PV solar panels installed this year, reducing their carbon footprint by 40%.
SEAI are again encouraging all of us to make an effort to be more energy conscious in our own homes. Climate action is everyone’s responsibility. We must all play our part and whether we’re at home, at work, at school or in our community, there are things we can do to address climate change. Simple changes that can be made in the home include:
- Reduce the heating thermostat by one degree
- Turn radiators off or down in rooms that you do not use very often
- Replace your old inefficient light bulbs with low energy CFLs or LED lights. Start with the lamps in your living room or kitchen where you spend most of your time
- Unplug appliances when they are not in use. Even in ‘standby’ mode, they are using 20% of the energy they would consume if they were on
Speaking in relation to their role within the Sustainable Communities Initiative, Declan Meally, Head of Transport and Communities with SEAI said:
“SEAI are delighted to work with Musgraves and the Communities on another successful year for the ‘Building for Sustainable Communities’ initiative. This year 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.
The Musgrave Group have been leading by example in their own stores with their energy saving initiatives, in addition to informing their communities and customers in the process to illustrate how everyday changes can make a big difference.
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. SEAI also see the added benefit of working together as a community and we now have a network of over 500 Sustainable Energy Communities across Ireland who are taking action and working on our future.
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 said.
Echoing the statement of the SEAI, Ian Allen, Managing Director for SuperValu and Centra commented:
“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 net zero carbon by 2050.”
“The Building Sustainable Communities initiative is one that we are proud to be part of each year and it’s quite rewarding to see a significant reduction in the various stores’ energy bills having completed the various works. 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”, Mr Allen added.
SuperValu and Centra are part of the Musgrave Group, Ireland’s largest grocery and food distributors. With 220 stores throughout Ireland, SuperValu has served the people of Ireland for over 30 years, and has become a well-established landmark across Irish communities. Centra maintains a reputation for quality, value and friendly service, with bright, accessible stores in over 465 locations throughout the country.
To learn how you can make small changes with a big impact see www.supervalu.ie/about/sustainability, www.centra.ie, www.musgravemarketplace.ie or follow #SustainableSundays #EverythingYouNeed or #ThereWhenYouNeedUs on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn.