Implementing carbon reductions without expensive replacement investments

With its vision of being   «carbon neutral by 2023», Coop has set new standards in the area of corporate climate protection. It is showing that it is possible to significantly reduce carbon emissions with the right level of engagement and that proactive climate protection is compatible with economic success. The set of measures in place until 2023 provide for a reduction in energy consumption and an increased use of renewable energies and will overall lead to Coop being able to reduce its carbon emissions by around 50% compared with 2008. The portion of carbon emissions that cannot be avoided whatsoever or whose prevention would incur excessive costs will be compensated for by funding suitable projects in Switzerland and abroad. The efficient set of measures will also allow cost savings of some CHF 70 million to be made.

Energy monitoring as an important accompanying measure

The set of measures to reduce carbon emissions is based on the cost-benefit model. Low-cost measures with a high impact in the area of energy efficiency or carbon emissions will be implemented quickly. It normally takes longer for more costly measures to be able to take effect as the budgeting and execution requires more time. Only one part of the task is completed with the implementing of the measures as continuous monitoring of the improvement during operation is just as important in order to guarantee the reduction path. Coop is monitoring energy consumption at 600 sales points using the MESA system.

Waste heat utilisation as the focus of ongoing monitoring

An important factor for success in Coop’s CO2-strategy is the continuous monitoring of waste heat utilisation (AWN). In the sales points, a large part of the heating needs is covered by using the waste heat from commercial refrigeration. In 2015, 55% of all heating needs were covered by using waste heat. Tetrag has developed a new method for AWN monitoring which allows deviations in performance to be detected at an early stage. Slow deteriorations can also be detected over the years, allowing you to plan in maintenance for the summer months. In the past, AWN problems were often only detected at the end of a heating period when the external heat amount came to more than the previous year in the heating bill.   

Exploiting further potential

Modern building technology concepts rely on renewable energy providers and use efficient technologies. It is therefore all the more important to continuously monitor the functionality of these systems, for example the efficiency of heat pumps,  which can change and lead to unnecessarily high energy expenditure. Continually monitoring the effectiveness can protect against an increase in energy consumption in this case. Another example is photovoltaic installations operated in the own-consumption model. The majority of the energy produced is to be used by the company itself and only the surplus is fed into the grid. Without monitoring, it is hard to see whether the planned concept is working. The situation is similar with solar-thermal systems. If there is not enough heat from the roof, heating is produced with electricity or fossil fuels. Users cannot detect this abnormality as warm water is available in both cases.