More low-energy stores, less fossil fuels
Colruyt Group is investing heavily in making its stores more energy efficient. By 2030 the majority of our own stores will be low-energy. At the same time, half will be completely free of fossil fuels by then.
More and more low-energy stores …
Since 2007, all new stores we build are low-energy stores. They have excellent insulation and air tightness qualities, efficient cooling and heating techniques, and consume very little energy in the form of electricity or possibly natural gas. At the same time, since 2017 we have been renovating about 20 older stores every year to save energy, by insulating them, making them more airtight and equipping them with new techniques such as heat recovery. This double effort means that by 2030 no less than 90% of our stores in Belgium will be a low-energy store.
new low-energy stores at the end of 2022
renovations to a low-energy store at the end of 2022
… and fossil fuel-free stores
In most low-energy stores the heat demand is so low that the heat recovery system is sufficient to heat the store and there is no need for conventional natural gas or fuel oil. These fossil fuel-free stores operate entirely on electricity. This power is 100% green and generated in Belgium, for example by solar panels on the roof of the store itself. In stores where for now we do still need gas, we work with energy-efficient high efficiency boilers. Our ambition is for half of our stores to be fossil fuel free by 2030.
fossil fuel-free stores at the end of 2022
Strong insulation and airtightness
Since 2012, we have provided every new building (section) with insulation that performs better than required by law. . We also ensure optimum airtightness, without unwanted gaps and cracks, to keep hot air in and cold air out in the winter. We also limit heat loss with, for example, a fast-closing gate at the covered unloading bay and an air lock at the store entrance. We also improve the insulation and airtightness of existing shops.
Residual heat recovery
- Since 2017, we have installed coolstores with heat recovery in all new stores. This system stores the heat produced by refrigeration and uses it to heat the store. In stores with a higher heat demand, heat recovery is combined with a heat pump.
- Existing stores are also equipped with heat recovery. If these stores need extra heat in very cold weather, a conventional heating system is used.
- Our ventilation systems are also equipped with heat recovery. In the winter, we recover the heat from the discharged indoor air to heat the supplied outdoor air.
The refrigeration of fresh and frozen goods is one of the biggest energy consumers in a food store That is why we invested in refrigeration methods that are more efficient than classic cooling stands.
- All fresh products are displayed in one large, insulated refrigerated area. The refrigeration system brings the cold in where it is needed, right behind the products. Air curtains at the entrances to the space keep the cool air in, and at night rolling shutters provide extra insulation.
- Frozen products are kept in closed containers with well-insulating lids. When opened, they lose less cold air than cooling stands with (glass) doors.
And: no air conditioning, LED lighting, etc.
The intelligent design of our buildings guarantees a pleasant temperature, without the use of energy wasting air conditioning. For example, well-placed and oriented windows with sun blinds prevent unwanted heating. Thick concrete walls and floors partially absorb heat and release it later during the day.
Both in new and existing buildings, we install very economical LED lighting. Intelligent light control switches off the lighting when it is not needed. LED lighting also emits little 'residual heat'.