Sainsbury’s becomes first supermarket in UK to switch to 100% LED lighting

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Today Current, powered by GE announced it is partnering with Sainsbury’s to make it the first grocery retailer in the UK to power all its supermarkets entirely by LED lighting.

In the country’s largest deal of its kind, Current will upgrade 250,000 LED fixtures across more than 450 stores, cutting Sainsbury’s lighting energy consumption by 58%t and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 3.4% annually.

Paul Crewe, Sainsbury’s head of sustainability, energy, engineering & environment, said: “At Sainsbury’s we’re committed to lowering the carbon emissions of our stores, so we’re proud to be the first supermarket to switch our large stores entirely to LED lighting. 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.  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. Our customers expect us to do the right thing on their behalf, and they can be reassured that, day or night, when they visit a Sainsbury’s supermarket, we’ve made a significant in-road into creating a greener supermarket for them.”

The project will support Sainsbury’s on its journey to achieve commitments set out in the supermarket’s Sustainability Plan, which calls for Sainsbury’s to reduce absolute carbon emissions by 30% compared to 2005 baseline levels. The target has spurred numerous energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives across its many UK 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 percent and is on track to achieve its 2020 target.

Pete Lau, CEO of Current’s European operations, says: “For years, Sainsbury’s has placed itself on a trajectory toward reducing its impact on the environment. At Current, we believe the adoption of energy efficient technology can be a core piece of building not only a more sustainable business, but also a more profitable one. We’re proud to continue partnering with the Sainsbury’s team, and this ambitious project represents the next step of that journey.”

Current is delivering the massive lighting retrofit as a turnkey service, embedding financing with lighting design, product supply, installation and project management services. The full LED conversion across all Sainsbury’s stores is scheduled to be completed by 2020.