Finish retailer S Group has announced it will install solar panels at some 40 of its sites within a year.
The retailer will install around 37,000 solar panels on the roofs of its Prisma hypermarkets, its S-Markets and its ABC stations throughout the country.
“We will further increase the use of renewable energy in the next few years,” said Taavi Heikkilä, chief executive of S Group. “We believe that by 2025, up to 80% of S Group’s electricity consumption will be generated by our own renewable energy. Currently it stands at around 60%.”
Most of the retail group’s electricity is sourced from wind power, while solar accounts for about 10% of the power used by the group’s real estate.
“Most of the electricity our stores consume is during the summer, when more energy is needed for refrigeration and cooling,” Heikkilä continued. “At the best of times, during sunny summer hours, any electricity consumed by our property can come from solar power.”
In addition to being environmentally friendly, photovoltaic energy is also a cost-saving measure, as the retail group’s electricity bill has decreased by around €500,000 on an annual basis, according to the group.
The Nordic energy company Fortum, which is majority owned by the Finnish government, supplies the solar panels for the retailer. The Finnish government also has a 20% stake in S Group’s project.
“Realising our vision of a cleaner world isn’t always easy,” said Tatu Kulla, development director at Fortum. “Fortunately, there are several other companies besides us that share the same goal, which shows that S Group’s solar energy project for commercial real estate acts as a good example.”
Climate Change Ambitions
The new project comes as part of S Group’s climate change ambitions, which aim to drastically reduce its emissions.
“Our new climate goal is a big deal,” said Lea Rankinen, the group's director of responsibility. “We aim to cut a million tonnes of emissions by 2030. This goal can’t be achieved solely by reducing S Group’s own operations, but by also requiring our business partners to follow suit.”
The retail group, in collaboration with its business partners, has invited customers to join the campaign.
The company's bank, hotel, and grocery arms were recently found to be ‘the most responsible' players in their industries by the 2018 Nordic Sustainable Brand Index.
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Kevin Duggan. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.