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Sustainable supermarkets

Sainsbury’s has announced that it has reached a milestone in its innovative renewable energy strategy. Through its ambitious plan to install PV cylindrical technology at stores across its estate, the retailer has now generated 7.0 MWp of electricity; enough to power 2,000 homes for a year.

Sainsbury’s has announced that it has reached a milestone in its innovative renewable energy strategy

This milestone follows the installation of solar panels at 115 Sainsbury's supermarkets, meaning the retailer now has over 36,600 panels of cylindrical PV in stores across the country. This is the largest multi-roof installation of solar panels in UK history.

Neil Sachdev, Sainsbury's Property Director, said: "Sainsbury's is proud of its industry leading commitment to reduce the environmental impact of our operations and today is another important milestone in our journey. Our targets are in place because we recognise that this is the right thing for us to do as a responsible retailer. We know that reaching these targets will not be easy but we are confident that we can meet them, making a real difference to our environmental footprint. Exciting and ambitious projects are great examples of our determination to meet the stretching targets set by our 20 by 20 Sustainability Plan."

This installation of solar panels is part of Sainsbury's wider commitment to reduce its operational carbon footprint through using renewable energy technologies at its stores. As well as solar panels, Sainsbury's has recently installed its 26 biomass boiler in its new Ely store and plans to double the number in stores by the end of 2012. Beyond this, five Geo-Exchange ground source heat pumps have also been installed since the retailer's first successful trial at its Crayford store in 2010 with plans to triple these by the end of this year.

Sainsbury's investment in onsite renewable energy technologies is part of its ambitious corporate target to reduce its operational carbon emissions by 30% absolute and 65% relative by 2020 compared with 2005. This is part of a broader target of an absolute carbon reduction of 50% by 2030.

This broader target is one of 20 targets recently published in Sainsbury's 20 by 20 Sustainability Plan launched in October 2011. This plan acts as a new cornerstone to Sainsbury's business strategy and sets out 20 sustainability targets to be achieved by 2020.

This £1 billion plan aims to ensure the company remains at the forefront of sustainability between now and 2020.

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