December 8, 2011
Today U.K. retailer Waitrose opened its greenest store yet, pioneering new environmental features and reduce carbon dioxide equivalent emissions by around 80 percent.
The 25,000-square-foot store near the company's corporate office in Bracknell, Berkshire, will be the first Waitrose to showcase a host of biodiversity features, building on the retailer’s efforts to conserve and enhance the natural environment.
The store features a green roof covered with wild grass to improve drainage and provide an area for wildlife. There is a ‘living’ wall to promote wildlife movement around the site, hedges instead of conventional fencing and nest boxes for bats and swifts.
There’s even a ‘bug hotel’ located in the parking lot, constructed with the help of local primary school students to provide a safe haven for hibernating insects. The hotel is the size of a telephone box with individual ‘rooms’ inside designed to encourage different insects.
As part of its Responsible Development program, all new Waitrose shops and major refurbishments will incorporate a biodiversity action plan, Waitrose announced.
On-Site Energy Center
The state-of-the-art store will also be one of two Waitrose location to have its own on-site energy center which will reduce CO2 emissions by almost 800 tons a year, the company reported. Burning locally sourced wood chips from Forestry Commission standard sustainable woodlands, the centre will provide the branch with all of its heating, cooling and electricity needs, in addition to producing surplus power of around 150,000 kilowatt hours, which will be fed back into the national grid.
The retailer said it wants more of its stores to operate off-grid and plans to roll out on-site energy centers to future builds to help achieve its overall goal of a 15 percent absolute reduction in operational CO2 emissions by 2020/21.
“Throughout the design and build of our Bracknell shop our three objectives have been community, emissions reduction and biodiversity. As a food retailer, boosting Britain’s biodiversity is important to us; given the vital role that wildlife plays in the pollination of crops,” said Nigel Keen, director of development at Waitrose. “Many of the features incorporated into the shop and [parking lot] make good business sense as they conserve the environment and help us save money. We’re keen to roll out these new features more widely, particularly the on-site energy centers, which offer massive CO2e savings and will reduce the amount we spend on energy in the long-run.”
The following are other store features:
The store also used responsible development techniques during construction with 99 percent of construction waste from the build diverted from landfills.
Water conservation was also a focus with restrooms using waterless urinals, reduced flush cisterns and low consumption sinks. A site boundary water meter was also installed to help the retailer monitor the amount of water the store is using at any given time.