Back from the EuroShop, with lots of a ideas and a big certainty: green is “hot”. From Green IT to green supermarkets and green products: retail is now aware of the trend toward sustainable economic management. Obviously, the market is still immature and retailers have lot to learn about what can be really sustainable in the long term – and this is where professional services like the ones we offer can be of a great help.
As stated on the EuroShop website, earlier this year, German Federal Minister of Economics Rainer Brüderle visited the “Klimamarkt” (“climate market”) by Tengelmann, across from the Tengelmann headquarters in Mülheim an der Ruhr. The politician of the FDP party said: “We need pilot projects like this to gather experience on how climate protection and economic efficiency can be reconciled.” Tengelmann deems the “Klimamarkt”, which already opened in December of 2008, to be “Germany‘s first CO2-free supermarket.”
The project admittedly does not stand up to an intense cost effectiveness analysis. “Demolition and new construction would have been cheaper”, Tengelmann spokesperson Jutta Meister admits on inquiry. And this is issue n.1 to take into account: the economics of retail sustainability.
“Particular attention also always needs to be paid to the economical aspect of sustainability”, says Tobias Walter of tegut. “We build beautiful marketplaces for our customers, which thanks to our consolidated know-how generally are not more expensive than the otherwise widely common ‘shoe box buildings’”. Kai Falk, Managing Director of Communication and Sustainability at the German Retail Federation HDE also believes: investments in sustainability in retail have a chance on a larger scale only if they also pay off financially.
And this pay off can be energy savings. In food retail, according to the EHI more than 55 Euros per square meter of sales floor are incurred for energy, in which cooling at 44 percent accounts for the largest electricity consumption. In non-food retail on average 31 Euros per square meter need to be spent. Here the largest portion at 65 percent is caused by lighting expenses.
The EHI notices a large willingness in retail to invest in energy savings practices. 80 percent of polled retailers are said to be willing to invest in energy-saving cooling systems and equipment. This high readiness can be explained by savings expectations of up to 20 percent. Aside from investments in new cooling devices, the choice of cooling agent is also getting more and more important, especially since the old R22-systems have to be converted. Cooling with CO2 was one of the big trade fair topics at the EuroShop 2011.
Many commercial enterprises work on new projects and initiatives about a more sustainable retail. Hardly anybody believes they can afford to not be a part of green topics. The discerning public will intently look at what’s show and what is true concern. But ultimately it is the consumers themselves that have to start rethinking, because they choose where they shop. They choose what they would like to stay away from.