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CRC ‘will drive retail upgrades’

Retailers are under pressure to increase take-up of carbon-friendly building and refrigeration initiatives ahead of the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme which starts this month.

UK Green Building Council chief executive Paul King said he expected a hike in work from companies not wanting to suffer penalties under the new scheme, and predicted the UK’s carbon targets would “create thousands of new jobs, boosting the economy and supporting our recovery”.

Supermarkets are expected to lead the way in new initiatives as retailers, the public sector and the hospitality industry together produce more than a third of the
emissions covered by the scheme.

Head of climate change and sustainable development at the Environment Agency Tony Grayling said: “In this age of eco-conscious consumers, [retailers] need to perform well to have the edge on their competitors.”

The supermarkets’ move towards natural refrigerants has been driven as much by carbon reduction as by the need to reduce global warming potential.

The CRC is a mandatory emissions scheme, which will see around 5,000 organisations buying allowances for each tonne of CO2 they emit and then placed in a
league table according to their energy performance. All the money raised is then given back, with the best performers paid more than they contributed and the worst
performers effectively being fined.

The CRC scheme started on April 1. All organisations with half-hourly metering systems will be required to register or submit an exemption in 2010

In 2008/09, Sainsbury’s energy efficiency programme resulted in an absolute reduction in carbon of 10,786 tonnes of CO2.

The group said: “Various initiatives such as biomass boilers, rainwater harvesting and efficient refrigeration are also constantly being incorporated to Sainsbury’s
new store and extension schemes.” It has announced plans to convert all its stores out off HFCs by 2030.

Tesco has ambitious targets to cut the carbon footprint of its entire supply chain by 30 per cent by 2020, as part of its long-term aim to become a zero-carbon
business by 2050.

Engineering director Keith Aughwane said the store will also focus on increasing its use of renewable energy sources in a bid to meet what he called “stretching
targets” for carbon reduction, including becoming the first direct energy customer of MGT Power’s new biomass power station in the Tees Valley.

Wal-Mart, which owns British supermarket chain Asda, last month announced plans to slash 20 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions from its global
supply chain by the end of 2015. The figure represents 150 per cent of the company’s estimated global carbon footprint growth over the next five years.

Wal-Mart has been working to a target of a 20 per cent carbon reduction in existing stores by 2010, and a 30 per cent cut at new stores by 2013. Asda has already
reached both targets ahead of deadline, the company said, taking more than 80,000 tonnes of CO2-equivalent out of its operations since 2007.

Asda’s corporate responsibility director Paul Kelly said: “We now have some of the most efficient stores in retail and the most cost-effective distribution network in the UK.”

Morrisons has spent £66m on new, efficient refrigeration capacity in its stores over the past two years, achieving its target to reduce its carbon footprint by 36 per cent by 2010 - a year early,