Tesco unveils sustainability innovations in first ever cross-industry site visit

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Tesco has shared the extensive eco-innovation behind one of its most sustainable superstores to a group of industry peers including Heathrow, Unite Students and University of Cambridge, a pioneering move to drive the transformation of building performances across industries.

The Innovation Gateway partners completed the first ever peer site visit, as Tesco demonstrated the engineering solutions that were installed in its Bicester store, to drive reduction in CO2 emissions. On the day Tesco shared its strategy that targets efficiency challenges in energy, water and waste, thereby providing food for thought on how its fellow partners can overcome similar challenges in reducing the environmental impacts of their commercial properties.

During the visit Tesco shared new sustainable solutions it is trialling to cut environmental impacts and drive innovation, including its move to solar power and incorporating new energy saving techniques used on store equipment.

Tesco has now successfully implemented a wide range of new sustainable technologies in its Bicester store, resulting in c. 10% reduction in annual electricity consumption per square-foot compared to an average Tesco superstore. Tesco is now looking to roll out several of these innovations throughout its estate to support its ambition to become a zero-carbon business by 2050. Tesco was keen to share these innovations with its Innovation Gateway peers, to aid knowledge-sharing and collaboration.

Anna Carolina Menezes, head of energy at Tesco, commented: “We see this site visit as the first step in a fruitful collaborative relationship, and are looking forward to the next site visit. Sharing our learnings can help our partners benefit and drive real change, and by working with Innovation Gateway, we hope to enable others to reduce their energy consumption. We want to thank Innovation Gateway for providing us the opportunity to collaborate, network and share ideas with like-minded companies and institutions.”

Gareth Chaplin, energy & environment technical solutions manager at Unite Students, comments on the success of the visit: “It was a fascinating visit and a great opportunity to see behind the scenes of an operating Tesco store. Tesco and Unite Students are different industries, but obviously share many of the same challenges and opportunities. I took away several ideas, both in terms of the innovations and the management process that sits behind the trialling and implementation of them. These will be of great use to us in the future as we continue to look for innovative ways to reduce the environmental impact of our buildings. Tesco’s openness and willingness to share made the visit such a success.”

Innovation Gateway allows leading organisations, such as Tesco, to work together as an alliance to improve their ability to source, select and validate innovation in their buildings. Partners are sharing best practices and past experiences to solve common challenges they face.

Henry Majed, director of partnerships at Innovation Gateway, concluded: “The site visit was a fantastic example of partners coming together. It allowed us to see common challenges being addressed which are relevant to diverse industries, and learn from each other’s experiences – enabling partners to take away knowledge and solutions they can apply to their own properties. The response from the partners was fantastic and it’s excellent news that the next site visits are already planned, showing the value of cross-industry collaboration.”