Retailer to introduce Wirth’s EcoBlade twin-blade polycarbonate shelf-edge strips to reduce energy on open cabinets
Waitrose & Partners is to introduce twin-bladed shelf-edge strips, developed by motor racing engineer Wirth Research.
The WR EcoBlade, comprising blades made of recyclable polycarbonate, is expected to reduce energy consumption of the supermarket’s refrigeration by up to 25 per cent - c2.3 MWh.
The EcoBlade will be fitted to the front of its fridge shelving to reduce cold air being lost into the aisles, using the same techniques that channel airflow more efficiently around racing cars to enable them to corner at higher speeds. It will also make aisles feel warmer for customers and takes away the need to install fridge doors, while ensuring a constant shelf temperature throughout the fridges to maintain product quality, the partners said.
The EcoBlade, which will roll out in shops from March, is the first in a number of energy-related projects on which WR and Waitrose will be collaborating, they added.
Tor Harris, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, for Waitrose & Partners, said: “We know there is always more to do, but applying this design means we’re motoring forward in our efforts to reduce our impact on the environment. To deliver an energy saving of such significance through changing our shelf edging is fantastic and another example of how we continue to find innovative ways to achieve our goal to make our shops more sustainable.”