Sainsbury’s supermarket in Leicester, which opens today, is one of two “triple-zero” stores the retailer has just opened. It emits zero CO2 from all operational energy used, zero waste goes to landfill, and the store has zero impact on the water usage of the local catchment area because of its “water-neutral” status, the UK grocery chain says.
The second triple-zero supermarket, which last month opened in Weymouth Gateway, is also water neutral, meaning 100 percent of its water demand will be met through water-efficient infrastructure and offsetting partnerships.
An onsite generator will provide all of the 81,700-square-foot Leicester store’s electricity and heating. The combined heat and power system will use natural gas from the national gas grid. Additionally, the equivalent amount of zero carbon biogas, required for the store each year, will be imported into the network from one of the supermarket’s Dairy Development Group farmer’s anaerobic digestion facilities in West Sussex, thus creating a closed loop.
Like all Sainsbury’s stores, none of its waste goes to landfill. Any surplus food is donated to local charities or made into animal feed, and when it’s not suitable for consumption it’s used to generate energy through anaerobic digestion. All general waste is recycled or turned into fuel.
Seventy percent of the water demand will come from rainwater harvesting and other water-efficient initiatives. The remaining 30 percent, which is potable water for food preparation, will be offset by sponsoring water saving initiatives at a partner site in the community. Additionally, 100 percent of the waste produced during the construction of the store has been reused or recycled.
The new store’s other sustainable features include:
- A timber structural frame, creating a lower carbon footprint than a standard steel frame.
- Natural CO2 refrigeration to run the chillers and freezers, reducing the carbon footprint by 33 percent.
- Energy-efficient LED lighting.
- More than 120 prismatic roof lights to maximize natural light.
- The gas station has a roof canopy over the fuel pumps made of photovoltaic solar panels to generate energy to run the kiosk.
- Electric vehicle charging points outside and a Bee Hotel (nesting site) and Bee Café (bee-friendly plants).
- A recycling center for customers to recycle packaging and donate clothing and other items to Oxfam.
- More than 1,200 photovoltaic solar panels on the roof.