Are there limits to energy efficiency for supermarkets?


Over the past decade, many large UK retailers have made significant efforts to reduce their energy consumption. They have invested in energy saving measures across their buildings and their transport fleet, they have implemented formal environmental and energy management systems, and they have published reports on their energy use and greenhouse gas emissions performance and targets.

The question is what these actions have delivered in terms of performance improvements? Over the past three to five years, UK supermarkets (or, more specifically, the seven that report on their social and environmental performance) have reported energy efficiency improvements (as measured in energy consumption per unit of floor area) of between 2.5% and 5.5% a year. Over longer time periods (ie up to 10 years), these companies have consistently achieved annual improvements of between 2% and 3% in their energy efficiency.