Energy saving

DIA’s optimises energy consumption in 2012

Over the past three years, DIA has made technical improvements to its stores, geared mainly towards sustainable consumption. It has brought in low energy freezers, refrigerators with high-efficiency ventilators and a central heating-cooling system which, among other benefits, has a lower environmental impact.

By becoming more efficient, DIA can expand without eroding profitability or performance loss. The aim is to ingrain a culture of energy efficiency that creates a framework for sustainable and efficient growth.

DIA strengthened its commitment to sustainable development in 2012 by signing the UN Global Compact and embracing “Efficiency” as one of its core values.

DIA is addressing the energy efficiency challenge on a number of fronts. On the one hand, it negotiates large volume, 1- or 2-year energy deals with power companies. Utilities are heavily influenced by the political powers that be, while kWh prices jumped 9.5% in 2012 and have soared by a cumulative 95% since 2005. At the same time, DIA is requiring more and more power for its development.

On the other hand, DIA has focused on becoming a more energy-efficient company. It is making efforts to keep its electricity bill as low as possible, quickly adopting new energy-saving technology, analysing consumption closely to spot patterns and inconsistencies, and address issues, and striving to instil a culture of saving among everyone at DIA.

In all, the company improved the overall efficiency of its stores and working centres by 22% in 2012, while slashing costs by 20% thanks to saving measures.

Perhaps the strongest indication of just how successful DIA’s energy-efficiency measures have been is that the company’s 1,400 plus proprietary stores representing 70% of the total store network- are now powered exclusively by E.On-certified renewable sources. The certification issued by Spain’s energy watchdog, the CNE, is displayed prominently at the entrance to each “green store” with a view to engaging customers in this sustainability commitment.

Leading by example

DIA’s awareness of the importance of energy saving is not limited to its stores. The company’s head offices in Las Rozas (Madrid, Spain) boast advanced green building construction and management systems. This is certified by the ‘LEED Oro C&S’ qualification, which identifies this building as a sustainable building, environmentally clean and adapted to function totally based on clean and renewable energy.

DIA is an “Environment Creator”

The “Environment Creator” (“Crea Medioambiente”) certification given to DIA in recognition of its efforts to set up and promote eco-friendly stores was a milestone in 2012.

This certification, given by the Crea Medioambiente Institute, rewards environmentally conscious public and private companies that voluntarily carry out specific environmental initiatives.

“Eco-friendly” store certification, which means reducing annual CO2 emissions by 15 tonnes per share
DIA garnered this certification firstly for including and adopting energy-saving and sustainability systems at the DIA supermarket located in the Európolis industrial park in Las Rozas de Madrid in the framework of the “Las Rozas por el clima” (Las Rozas is climate friendly) initiative. DIA was able to achieve roughly 20% higher energy savings at this eco-friendly store compared to most stores, which translates into as much as 15 fewer tonnes of carbon emissions a year.

By the end of 2012, DIA has 20 “Environment Creator” certified stores. These operate and do business just like any normal store, but are designed as a test field for the most innovative energy-efficiency measures in the marketplace.

LED tube initiative

The LED tube Project saves €7 million on DIA’s annual electricity bill
DIA embarked on a pioneering imitative in 2012 at all the proprietary stores involving the gradual replacement of traditional fluorescent light bulbs and tubes used for its store lighting with LED systems. More than 400 company stores in Turkey have already changed over, with the initiative coming to the proprietary stores in Spain in 2012. Plans are to extend it to Portugal during the first half of 2013.

Once complete in Spain and Portugal, DIA could extend the initiative to the French and Brazilian markets.

Country Technology Goal Energy saving Status
Spain LED tubes Replace in 1,600 stores 55% Installed between May and October 2012
Portugal LED tubes TBA following analysis of results 55% Currently looking at alternate solutions
France T5 fluorescent Install at new and remodelled stores 8% T5 is the standard in existing stores. LED for new stores in 2012
Turkey LED tubes Replace in 485 stores 55% Installed between May and June 2012
China T5 fluorescent Install at all stores 30% Installed in 82 stores in Shanghai.

In Spain, even though the lighting replacement initiative was rolled out gradually over the year, the stores still managed to reduce their energy consumption in 2012. Turkey, where the initiative has been in place longer, showed an 11.4% saving compared to 2011, achieving its lowest level of consumption of the last two years.

Glass doors for refrigeration cabinets with shelves

Another major initiative designed to lower store energy consumption was the installation of glass doors in multi-tier refrigeration cabinets. This not only cut electricity consumption of the units by around 30%, but it also guaranteed optimal product conservation temperature, making it easier for customers and reduced the level of contracted power supply for chilled and frozen food sections of new stores.

Country Goal Energy saving per unit Status
Spain TBA, being assessed for M&C 30% Installed at 2 eco-friendly stores and being tested at 3 stores
Portugal TBA, being assessed for M&C 30% Tested at 4 stores Awaiting decision in Spain
France Replace in all refrigerator units 30% Awaiting decision until results of sales impact analysis
Turkey Substitute for M&C in 425 stores 30% Installation complete
China Replace (in all refrigerator units) at remodelled stores 30% Installed at 51 stores in Shanghai and in testing stage in Peking
Argentina TBA, being assessed by M&C 30% Testing stage at four MAXI DIA and two DIA Market Fresh stores

DIA carried out other initiatives over the course of 2012, such as real-time consumption monitoring, the installation of combined systems for product refrigeration and store cooling and heating, store automation (domotics), electric refrigeration fans and condensers, and the installation of inverter compressors and fans.

Energy saving will continue to shape DIA’s actions in coming years. Targets include speeding up the implementation of consumption-reduction initiatives, stepping up initiatives at warehouses, extending ongoing initiatives to the rest of the countries where these initiatives are not being carried out and swiftly adopted new energy-saving technologies that appear in the marketplace.

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Jesús Umbría / DIA