Tesco launches ‘energy efficiency club’

Over 700 businesses expected to benefit from initiative designed to offer energy efficient products to Tesco customers

(Pic: Tesco)

By Nilima Choudhury

Supermarket giant Tesco will launch a collaborative buying club this week to help suppliers invest in energy efficient products by offering discounts and advice.

The launch follows a successful pilot of four suppliers who trialled the model with LED lighting between February and September 2013.

The results of the pilot showed that it had helped businesses cut their lighting costs by up to 80%, enough to light a small town of 1500 houses.

Typhoo was one of the companies to sign up and as a result of the lighting designs they adopted under the pilot, emissions at Typhoo’s single factory site will be cut by nearly 900 tonnes.

Tesco’s ‘Buying Club’ will be available to the 700 plus businesses that are members of the Tesco Knowledge Hub – a global and exclusive online community for Tesco suppliers which encourages members to share information, experiences and best practice in carbon reduction.

It has been developed with online business community 2degrees and the UK advisory Carbon Trust.

“Our suppliers have told us that cost and lack of knowledge can be the biggest barriers to making investment in energy savings,” said Chloe Meacher, Tesco climate change manager.

“The Buying Club will address these concerns and support them in reducing their carbon footprint in a really practical way.”

The scheme will work by using the collective purchasing power of the suppliers in the Knowledge Hub to negotiate discounts on energy efficient lighting equipment.

Downturn

Despite this initiative which has so far proven to be a success, this week, Tesco is expected to report at best flat quarterly UK sales, while on the same day rival supermarket chain Sainsbury will likely report accelerating sales growth as online and convenience stores continue strong.

According to investment bank JPMorgan Cazenove, until last week Tesco’s house broker, the supermarket chain has been hit hard by the economic downturn because compared to rivals it sells a higher proportion of non-food items, where consumers have cut back the most.

Bruno Gardner, director of energy efficiency ventures at The Carbon Trust, said: “Energy efficient lighting is one of the best investments many businesses can make right now. In theory it should be an easy decision, but in practice that’s not always the case.

“By joining forces with Tesco and 2degrees, we were able to make the business case for energy efficient lighting even more compelling for Tesco’s suppliers – giving them the confidence they needed to invest in saving money and cutting carbon.”

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