Two years ago we achieved the Carbon Trust Standard in recognition of our efforts in reducing carbon emissions and for our commitment to further these reductions.
This accreditation will expire shortly, which has prompted us to carry out a review this year. This natural lapsing of the CT Standard also provided us with the opportunity to consider our requirements under the Government’s new Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS), which supports the EU Energy Efficiency Directive (EED).
Following our review, we have taken the decision to pursue accreditation under the ISO 50001 system run by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO).
Achieving this standard will automatically ensure compliance with ESOS/EED.
Our energy management team will provide the necessary reports that will be assessed against the standard. A key benefit will be the international dimension of ISO, which reflects our global development, as there will be no need for any further auditing systems
ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND CO2 EMISSIONS
Our total combined energy usage (gas and electricity) has decreased by 12% this year with our total electricity consumption in stores, Distribution Centres (DCs) and Head Office down by 5% and gas consumption down by 25%. Our corresponding CO2 emissions are down 8% year-on-year.
We continue to review energy providers and switch to renewable sources wherever possible. Last year approximately 94% of our energy across stores, Head Offices and Distribution Centres was provided from renewable sources, with the remaining 6% made up of stores based in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and landlord managed stores. This year we have managed to secure a new contract to supply our stores across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland with renewable energy. This means that almost all stores under our direct control will be supplied with energy from renewable sources.
Following the rollout of smart meters into our stores, we are now able to remotely monitor stores’ energy consumption and provide the teams with meaningful data reports to help them better manage their usage. From May 2014, stores now receive two reports on a monthly basis to update them on their usage against the previous year and how they are using energy during and out of trading hours. Feedback from stores has been very positive and has supported our retail engagement initiative (see Our Employees for more). Team members are able to ask questions and propose ideas via a dedicated email address for the energy team.
We have made good progress on all of the KPIs highlighted in last year’s report.
Last year we pledged to review upgrading our general store lighting to LEDs across our Outfit stores and to our BHS stores. In this regard, a high level review has been carried out with two different companies and it has highlighted significant energy and maintenance saving opportunities. Our next step was to implement a trial in two stores to verify the proposed savings and safeguard the look and feel of the store. We selected BHS White Rose near Leeds as our first trial store and work will begin later in 2014.
BHS stores’ lighting departments have traditionally used a wide range of energy inefficient lamps. Last year we converted 71,500 lamps to more energy-efficient LED versions. This year we have continued that work, converting a further 8,500 lamps. Next year we are planning a third phase, to introduce two new LED products to replace inefficient spotlights. By the end of next year we hope to have 100% of lamps replaced by LED versions.
Our Distribution Centres have been a key focus of activity this year, in line with our aim to carry out a full review of energy consumption in our four DCs to explore potential savings in these energy-intensive sites.
After a full tender exercise, we have appointed a contractor to upgrade the lighting in our Leeds DC to more efficient technology. In Atherstone a full energy survey has been completed.
We have engaged with four voltage optimisation suppliers, with two of them visiting each DC. Milton Keynes and Monkspath have been surveyed for voltage optimisation opportunities. Milton Keynes has been selected for our first trial.
We have explored lighting update opportunities in our BHS Head Office in Marylebone, London. Surveys have been carried out and we are currently reviewing options. A sample of the proposed fitting has been installed on-site and feedback so far has been positive.
Greater flexibility in our Building Management Systems (BMS) in suitable BHS stores is a target. We expect this to ensure our energy demand is in line with trading hours while also improving comfort levels. We have been working with a wireless BMS provider to find suitable locations to launch a trial. This work is now complete and we will be trialling the system across five different locations, extending the pilot to include Outfit and TOPSHOP.
We plan to trial new hand held terminals in stores this year to assist in the reduction of paper usage in processes such as ‘Collect from Store’. Assuming that the trial is successful, next year should see the rollout of these hand held terminals, which are more energy efficient than their predecessors.
At our Head Offices we continue to encourage our teams to use video or audio conferencing facilities to save on both domestic and international travel, and we have ensured that there will be purpose built video-conferencing rooms as part of the Head Office refurbishment programme.