Zara 5000th store in Rome leads the way to a sustainable retail

Showing off its real aim to embrace the latest eco-trends from top to bottom, from heart to head, Inditex has just opened its 5000th Inditex store as the flagship of its 2011-2015 Sustainable Inditex Plan. Inditex new global benchmark in eco- efficiency is housed in the Palazzo Bocconi, a building whose history dates back more than 120 years.

Just some figures: this is a store which consumes 30% less energy with regard to the annual average consumption of a conventional store, saves 50% of water consumption and avoids the emission of over 150 toms of CO2 per year.

If the Inditex’s Strategic Environmental Plan 2007-2010 achieved various certifications in 3 of its stores including a first of its kind in Europe with Zara Barcelona being awarded LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, the new Zara, located at exclusive Via del Corso , reflects the 2011-2015 Sustainable Inditex Plan announced at the company’s most recent Annual General Meeting by the Group’s Deputy Chairman and CEO, Pablo Isla.

Isla set a strategic target of 2020 for all Inditex Group establishments to meet these criteria, which
are guiding the launch of the company’s newly-created locations. “Environmental issues are a key component of Inditex’s global strategy”, said Isla. “This project marks a turning point in how we think of retail space”.

The sustainability and energy efficiency measures established at Zara in Portal de l’Àngel 11-13 in Barcelona, are to be replied in every new store opened by Inditex worldwide and under every single one of the brands gathered in the group (Pull&Bear, Massimo Dutti, Stradivarius, Zara, Zara Home and Oysho) structured around the requirements set down in each one of the categories of the LEED certification system and contemplate actions regarding materials, installations and control systems
and processes.

This new concept of boutique hides behind a façade that makes use of three key elements: shop windows and geometric composition with big metal and glass squares, and a large-format logo. The new-look shop interior comprises an extensive range of grey tones which contrast with its black furnishings. The sales area is spread over five storeys. The company has indicated that the eco-friendly boutique would not have been possible without the previous experience acquired by Inditex’s team at the Zara Korai store in the Greek capital Athens, the group’s first eco-efficient store, which opened in December 2008.

Highlights of features contributing to the store’s eco-efficiency include automatic monitoring of the store’s indoor air quality (CO2 levels, humidity, light intensity, noise), to ensure the comfort of employees and shoppers; motion detectors to turn lights on and off in low-traffic areas and a an air curtain system at entrance doors, equipped with special sensors that continuously monitor outside temperatures to prevent abrupt indoor air temperature changes, thereby reducing the need to run heating/cooling systems. Besides and in order to lessen the nocturnal light pollution which plagues cities, the establishment’s lights are programmed to dim by more than 50% when the shop is closed. The interior makes generous use of LED lamps, which offer a much longer lifespan than that of conventional bulbs.

But Zara is not the only spoilt child within the group in terms of state of the art design and efficiency. In mid November, Pull & Bear launched its flagship store in Madrid, Spain, in terms of both its prominent location, and the eco-efficient efforts made by the format. With this store, Pull & Bear has the opportunity to become LEED certified, a certification which recognizes the environmental commitment of the company in the design of its points of sale. LEED is a US green building certification system and one of the most demanding in the market.

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