Last year we reported that we had achieved the Carbon Trust Standard. This means that we have been recognised by a third party for our efforts in reducing carbon emissions and for our commitment to further these reductions. The Carbon Trust Standard is widely considered as the world’s leading certifier of organisational carbon footprint reduction. To achieve the Carbon Trust Standard, Arcadia had to:
To achieve this, Arcadia had to:
- Provide an accurate footprint measurement including all required emission sources;
- Demonstrate an absolute reduction of footprint or equivalent relative efficiency improvement; and
- Demonstrate good carbon management including governance, accounting, reduction methods and targets.
This year we have continued to focus on these key areas of environmental impacts and we are keen to improve this even further.
ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND CO² EMISSIONS
Although our total combined energy usage (electricity and gas) has slightly increased, we have achieved our target to further reduce CO2 emissions by 3% this year. While we achieved our reduction targets on electricity with a 4% reduction, our gas consumption has increased by 29% compared to last year.
Much of this increase in gas consumption can be put down to the extremes of weather experienced this year. Another cold and very prolonged winter, followed by an unseasonably chilly spring and then a summer heatwave has required us to increase the heating and cooling of our stores in turn. Clearly customer comfort is of utmost importance to us so it is a compromise we have felt compelled to make.
Our reduced electricity consumption continues to be supported by our plans to replace less efficient lamps in our store lighting systems with energy efficient LED replacements.
We achieved our goal this year to replace the lighting along the escalators at our TOPSHOP Oxford Circus flagship store and to convert all incandescent lamps to LEDs in BHS lighting departments.
TOPSHOP Oxford Circus has illuminated graphics next to the main bank of escalators that were lit by 35-watt ceramic metal halide (CMH) lamps that lasted on average less than 12 months each. Their LED replacements run at 26 watts and have an average lamp life of five years. This project alone has saved 31 tonnes of CO2 this year and over the course of five years will save approximately 155 tonnes of CO2.
Before joining the Fashion Footprint programme, BHS lighting departments had been using a wide range of energy inefficient lamps. Our project to convert the majority to LEDs this year has been successful with 71,500 lamps replaced resulting in a CO2 saving of 307 tonnes.
We continue to review energy providers and switch to renewable sources wherever possible. Last year 71% of our energy across stores, head offices and distribution centres was provided from renewables. This year we have increased that position to 94%, working with UK based Smartest and Dublin-based Energia in Ireland. The remaining 6% is made up of stores based in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
As outlined in last year’s report, we identified an aspiration to convert heaters in some of our stores that currently use diesel oil to more efficient gas-fuelled heaters. We have undertaken detailed surveys of these stores this year but have taken the difficult decision not to progress further due to the prohibitive costs required in excavation, pipework and soil removal.
Our plan to replace our existing store IT systems with a much more energy efficient centrally hosted infrastructure was completed and has driven further energy savings of over 306,000 kWh on an annualised basis. As part of the roll out of the new Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) system, we also replaced over 4,000 tills with more energy efficient models.
We continue to encourage our head office teams to use video conferencing (VC) facilities and last year invested in increased facilities to save on both domestic and international travel. We have ensured that there will be purpose built VC rooms as part of the head office refurbishment programme.