The UK retail sector is one of the industries leading in implementing energy efficient measures.
That’s according to Munish Datta, Head of Plan A and Facilities Management at Marks & Spencer (M&S) who told ELN: “I think the retail sector as a whole has made great progress, is one of the sectors that is leading in terms of deploying energy efficiency technologies and indeed seeing great benefit from them.
“The retail sector works very closely with the government and with DECC and others to make sure that we have the right policy landscape and we’re involved in consultations and it’s also harnessing its own efforts and seeing the benefits of its own efforts, not waiting necessarily for the right policies.”
Mr Datta believes the sector needs to be aware of the growth of different technologies to improve its energy efficiency and sustainable performances in the future.
He added: “The emergence of technology, smart metering, sensors – all these are opportunities that can, if harnessed, reap more benefits and of course the whole energy management sphere in terms of demand side management, in terms of renewables, in terms of storage, in terms of buildings becoming generators of energy, mini power stations if you will, is going to mean there are new opportunities that we should be looking into.”
Last week M&S launched its latest Plan A report which revealed the firm has reduced its energy consumption by 39% and saved £150 million since the programme was implemented nine years ago.
Mr Datta said the firm is working towards achieving its target of being 50% more efficient by 2020: “ Firstly it’s about understanding our energy use and deploying automatic meters across our entire estates so that we know live at all times how much we’re using in terms of energy. It’s then making that information available in an easy to understand way to all of our colleagues in stores to make sure they can use that to change behaviours, to also the ways they use energy to reduce energy in stores.
“Data and understanding where we are perhaps wasting energy is enabling us to invest in the right places whether it’s LED lighting, refrigeration efficiency technology or better controls, it’s allowing us to do that as well. So by 2020 when we take those three things – better measurement, people engagement and investment – we are aiming to be 50% more efficient.”