Reducing energy consumption

The Group has pledged to reduce its electricity consumption per square metre of retail space by 20% by 2020 (base year: 2012). It is also a signatory of the agreement established in 2011 between the French government and the French Trade and Retail Federation (FCD) to have doors fitted on 75% of refrigerators containing fresh produce by 2020.

The Group’s energy consumption per square metre was down 5% year on year in 2016.

Continuous improvement of energy efficiency makes an indirect contribution to the fight against climate change by reducing greenhouse gases resulting from electricity generation, but also the protection of natural areas (forests, oceans and rivers, lakes, mountains, groundwater, ice floes, etc.), which are rich in non-renewable raw materials needed to produce this energy.

Store lighting and commercial refrigeration units are the two main sources of the Group’s energy consumption. Reducing energy consumption is addressed through a continuous improvement process, which is based on monitoring consumption, carrying out energy audits for sites, and implementing an energy renovation programme (Energy Performance Contracts). To this end, the Group’s subsidiaries define action plans each year. Energy management of Géant hypermarkets, Casino supermarkets and Monoprix stores is certified compliant with ISO 50001, which sets out the best practices to follow in this area. In France, 96% of Géant hypermarkets, 73% of Casino supermarkets and 26% of Monoprix stores benefit from an Energy Performance Contract, which guarantees to reduce their reference consumption by at least 20%.

Measures taken to meet this target include:

  • fitting doors on refrigerators containing chilled products;
  • installing smart meters to monitor consumption and implementing low-consumption mechanisms.

Outside France, in Brazil, the Group’s 140 hypermarkets and 182 supermarkets underwent energy retrofits in 2015 and 2016 (LED lighting, air conditioning and commercial refrigeration), aimed reducing energy intensity by nearly 25%.

In Colombia, Éxito continued its energy retrofit programme by developing natural lighting, equipping stores with 140,000 LED tubes and standardising remote meter reading. This programme was the focus of “Campaña ahorremos planeta”, an internal communication campaign explaining the need to adjust lighting, air conditioning and commercial refrigeration systems based on store opening hours and requirements.

In 2016, Éxito and GPA set up variable compensation for its managers based on the achievement of CSR objectives including reduced power consumption in stores. GPA’s 2016 target of a 2% reduction was met.

Promoting renewable energies

The Group began to promote renewable energy in 2007, and continues to roll out the programme, particularly Colombia, where solar panels have been installed on roofs, and solar canopies have been erected over hypermarket car parks.

Two solar power plants are in service; the one in Barranquilla is Colombia’s biggest.

Four such plants were commissioned in 2016, two in France and two in Brazil.

In Brazil, the Assaí Várzea Grande store in the state of Mato Grosso has been home to the largest solar power plant in the Brazilian retail sector since 2016. Installed on the roof of the car park, it consists of 1,140 photovoltaic panels covering roughly 2,000 square metres. It is capable of generating up to 17% of the store’s energy needs at full capacity.

In 2016, 60 units were connected, representing around 458,480 sq.m of solar panels.