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A sustainable and agile energy strategy is vital for retailers and distributors

The way you use energy is now crucial to your brand, business agility and financial sustainability

Today’s consumers – your customers – are more environmentally conscious than ever before. Employees, shareholders and investors expect firms to pursue environmentally-focused corporate social responsibility (CSR) goals. 90% of retail and wholesale organizations agree that becoming a low carbon/low emissions organization is important1.

Many leading retailers have already set themselves ambitious carbon reduction targets. Walmart has committed to cut operational emissions by 18% by 2025, as well as Project Gigaton, an initiative to avoid 1 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions from the global value chain by 20302.

Your retail or distribution operation must demonstrate a commitment to sustainability.

But there is another reason why you must look at the way you use energy.

Better energy use means financial as well as environmental sustainability

Consumers are demanding more product choice, more channel flexibility and faster delivery timelines. You must respond with new products, stores and locations and new sales processes. Being able to deliver this business agility and flexibility is critical for long-term competitiveness and a financially sustainable future.

As a retailer or distributor, you need an energy strategy that enables you to seize these opportunities – strengthening your brand, boosting competitiveness and providing financial as well as environmental sustainability.

How energy provides answers

More efficient and flexible, low-carbon energy technologies deliver on these objectives – and more. They include low-energy LED lighting, which is 50–90% more efficient than traditional light sources and can contribute to lowering carbon emissions3. Renewable generation, such as solar photovoltaic (PV) panels can help large retail stores or distribution centers with unused roof space enjoy significant reductions in carbon emissions as well as reducing costs.

On-site co-generation can also enable significant reductions in carbon emissions. For sites with a significant refrigeration requirement, trigeneration (cogeneration integrated with absorption chillers) can be even more beneficial.

Real-time energy sensors, combined with cloud-based analytics can provide centralized visibility of energy usage, making it easier to identify inefficiencies and take action. These can support environmental reporting systems, which can let you track progress on your sustainability initiatives, and ensure consumers, regulators and other stakeholders know the progress you are making. Of the world’s 250 largest corporations, 92% now report on their sustainability performance4.

Most retailers recognize the need to improve energy sustainability to maintain competitiveness. However, many fail to develop an energy sustainability strategy because of a shortage of in-house resources or capital constraints1.

Fortunately, there are new approaches to funding and managing energy infrastructure that let retailers and distributors improve agility, competitiveness and sustainability. Outsourcing energy management to Centrica Business Solutions can help you implement the energy strategy you need. Not only could it let you deliver greater agility, it could even help you to deploy lower-carbon technologies without needing any upfront capital investment.

Download our article to discover more about how the right energy strategy can help you drive sustainability, agility and efficiency. We reveal the steps you should be taking now to give your retail or distribution business the big competitive advantage of sustainability. 

Learn more about our approach for retail and distribution businesses.

1Energy Advantage Research, Centrica Business Solutions, 2Walmart Sustainability Hub: Project Gigaton, 3Centrica Business Solutions - Commercial LED Lighting web page, 4GRI and Sustainability Reporting, GRI