Colruyt Group is converting 234 stores into low-energy stores
This year, Colruyt Group started to convert all of its older stores into low-energy stores this year. Over a 12-year period, 234 stores will be converted to energy-efficiency. The wave of conversions is a new step to create stores which do not use fossil fuel and to introduce innovative sustainable technologies. Thanks to this investment of around €75 million, Colruyt Group will reduce its CO2 emissions by at least 4% by 2029, creating a long-term leverage effect for the benefit of limiting climate change.
Equivalent to 1,975 families
In 2007, Colruyt Group decided that all the new stores it built would only be low-energy stores. In order to reduce its impact on the environment, the group is now also busy converting the older stores it owns into low-energy stores. Over a 12-year period, 234 of the total 516 stores will be converted into low-energy stores. This mainly concerns Colruyt and Okay stores. By 2029, Colruyt Group hopes to own only low-energy stores. The goal is to convert an average of 20 stores per year. The first converted low-energy stores open this Wednesday in Knokke and Marcinelle.
“Low-energy conversion means that every store which is older than ten years that we own will be insulated and made more airtight, and we will revise the technologies where needed,” says Koen Baetens, director of Colruyt Group Technical Services. “Thanks to this investment, CO2 emissions from the whole group will drop by at least 4%. That corresponds to what 1,975 families emit each year for their heating.”
Green energy in place of fossil fuel
The large scale conversion wave is a necessary step to introduce innovative and sustainable technologies. By upgrading the stores, Colruyt Group will create an ideal platform for the future. Heat pumps will provide hot water for example, the refrigeration systems will operate on propene or propane gas, and the heating will run on heat recovery from refrigeration. These new technologies use 100% green electricity. This means that no fossil fuels such as fuel oil or natural gas are needed to run the stores. The first fossil fuel-free OKay stores will open in the autumn.
More pleasant working and shopping
In addition to a positive effect on the environment, the investment in low-energy stores also has an additional advantage. It allows us to avoid draughts, large temperature fluctuations and ensures a constant supply of fresh air in our stores. This increases comfort for our staff and customers, and will allow them to work and shop more comfortably.