U.K. supermarket chain in LED first

BY Marianne Wilson

Sainsbury's will become the first supermarket retailer in the United Kingdom whose stores will be lit entirely by LED lighting.

The retailer is partnering with GE's Current division in an extensive lighting upgrade. Current will upgrade 250,000 LED fixtures across more than 450 Sainsbury's stores, cutting the chain's lighting energy consumption by 58% and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 3.4% annually.

"We’re always looking for new ways of achieving our sustainability goals, and switching to LED lighting is a big step in the right direction," said Paul Crewe, Sainsbury’s head of sustainability, energy, engineering & environment. "We’ve almost halved the carbon emissions of our stores since 2005, and in the last 12 months reduced our electricity use by 11.6% despite growing our operation by 54.2%. This step will enable us to make significant reductions in carbon emissions."

The project will support Sainsbury’s sustainability plan, which calls for the company to reduce absolute carbon emissions by 30% compared to 2005 baseline levels. The target has spurred numerous energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives across Sainsbury's stores, from LED retrofits to solar panels, biomass boilers and ground source heat pumps. To date, Sainsbury’s has already cut absolute carbon emissions by more than 20%.

Current is deploying the lighting retrofit at Sainsbury's as a turnkey service, embedding financing from GE Capital Industrial Finance with lighting design, product supply, installation and project management services. The full LED upgrade across all Sainsbury’s stores is scheduled to be completed by 2020.


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