Energy efficiency: 2010 targets in sight

Energy-saving has a long tradition at Migros, and once again last year the retailer undertook a large number of energy-saving measures, including insulating chocolate pipes at Chocolat Frey. Migros is consequently on course to reach its ambitious energy targets.

The seemingly exotic idea of insulating several hundred metres of pipes at Chocolat Frey will enable the production operation to save more than a million kilowatt hours of thermal energy each year – or the heating energy requirement of 50 single-family houses.

This remarkable example is just one of many that Migros implemented in 2009 to save energy. Operations, sales outlets and logistics centres also undertook numerous other investments - as in previous years - to improve their energy balance. Thanks to this continuous effort, Migros has been able to keep its total energy consumption constant, despite an increase in production and sales area. Although electricity consumption rose slightly, fuel consumption decreased (see graphics).

While heat in particular is a major requirement for industrial operations, sales outlets largely require energy in the form of electricity, with product cooling accounting for more than half of consumption. A cooling cabinet uses as much electricity per running metre as a detached house. Migros is therefore keen to ensure that its cooling units are run efficiently. Frozen food islands consequently have sliding glass covers, and blinds are drawn over cooling units at night.

Targets up to 2010

Since 2002, Migros has worked with the Energy Agency for the Economy (EnAW) and has drawn up binding target agreements, approved by the Federation, for increasing energy efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions. All Migros stores, the 10 operations centres, the 14 industrial operations, the Group's own fleet of trucks, the main buildings of Hotelplan, Migrosbank, the Federation of Migros Cooperatives, the large warehouses of Globus and Interio and the 15 fitness parks have energy and climate-protection targets set to the end of 2010.

To reach the targets agreed with the EnAW, Migros is making use of energy-efficient equipment, heat recuperation, waste heat utilisation and the Minergie Standard. Migros played a leading role in drawing up this standard for sales areas and is now driving forward its implementation. Migros now has more than 17 Minergie Standard stores – six were added during the past year alone. It is therefore well on its way to reaching its energy efficiency and CO2 reduction targets. It has already significantly exceeded its intermediate targets (see table).

It was not just construction-related measures that improved the energy balance however, but also the process of informing and motivating employees and building managers. In November 2009, for example, the Migros production operation Bina organised energy-saving weeks. Employees reduced their water consumption, switched off devices during breaks and lowered the room temperature. These simple actions alone reduced the heating requirement of the unit's administrative building by around a quarter.