REWE Group's Penny retail chain in Romania has pledged to make 300 stores greener by 2029 by adopting BREEAM - the sustainability assessment method for buildings.
The initiative will see the retailer re-certify new stores across its network with BREEAM every three years.
Over the longer term, it plans to re-certify some of its existing stores and undertake major refurbishments on a three-year basis.
The retailer claims that its initiative is the ‘biggest ever’ BREEAM programme for a retailer in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).
Daniel Gross, CEO of Penny Romania, said, “Our commitment to certify BREEAM across our chain of stores represents one of the most extensive sustainability initiatives, not only at a national level, but also at a European level.
“Penny is taking on a much-needed pioneering role to respond to climate change, to which we all need to take firm and far-reaching action.”
BREEAM, developed by BRE, helps asset owners measure and improve their buildings’ sustainability performance. Around two million businesses in 89 countries use the certification method.
'A Major Step Forward'
Gael Temple, head of sales, BRE, commented, “Penny adopting the BREEAM standard is a major step forward for Romania, as well as Europe more widely. The value BREEAM delivers to customers is clear. Companies can make significant improvements in the environmental, social, and economic sustainability of their buildings – something which is reflected in the achievements made by Penny.
“Ultimately, we need large-scale action in the commercial buildings sector, and major businesses will help deliver this much-needed change. We look forward to working closely with Penny in this regard over the coming years, as it further solidifies itself as a sustainability leader.”
Earlier this year, the retailer’s Otopeni store was recognised as ‘the most sustainable building in CEE’ at the BREEAM Awards.
The store features 120 photovoltaic panels, 55 solar tubes that bring natural and diffused light to the store, and around 1,000 square-metres of grassy roof.
In 2020, the store consumed 18% less energy than a standard Penny store and produced 55,315 kWh through photovoltaic panels, which accounted for 21% of its total electricity consumption.