Furey Smyth Group Pioneers Multi Solution Approach to Significantly Reduce Carbon Footprint Across Network of EUROSPAR Stores Following €2 Million Investment
Leading supermarket group accelerates its journey to net zero carbon through the support of BWG Foods
The Furey Smyth Group, which operates a network of 8 prominent EUROSPAR supermarkets across Ireland, have completed a major €2 million investment programme to significantly improve the environmental sustainability of its supermarket stores across Ireland.
As part of the €2 million investment programme, Furey Smyth Group invested approximately €400,000 in solar panel installations across all feasible locations, along with €1.4 million in the complete overhaul of its expansive refrigeration infrastructure which extends to over 100 refrigeration units.
The solar panels now provide efficient self-generated electricity to five stores, dramatically reducing the group’s reliance on carbon intensive, grid supplied electricity, while the new suite of ultra-energy efficient refrigeration units have significantly reduced energy consumption across the Furey Smyth Group from the single most carbon intensive aspect of grocery retailing. To-date, the group has seen a 40 percent decrease in energy usage, at a time when electricity prices have reached an all-time high, with that figure projected to increase further as longer daylight and increased sunshine during the summer months leads to greater solar generation output.
Enerpower, who provided the technology for both sets of installations, estimate that the savings achieved equate to a total 1,156,538kWh annual savings, which is equivalent to 342,104KG of carbon emissions savings, which is equivalent to planting 70 acres of forestry.
The project, led by Chris Furey, a Director with Furey Smyth Group, was rolled out with the support of SEAI, who provided grants, and BWG Foods, through its Retailer Affinity Programme, facilitated the initiative over a short and intensive 10-week period to minimise impact on store trading. Early estimates forecast a six-to-seven-year payback period for the investment programme, however, increasing wholesale energy costs, along with continued efficiencies at store level mean that period could be reduced significantly.
Chris Furey, Director, Furey Smyth Group commented, “Recent steps taken across our retail group have greatly accelerated our journey to carbon neutrality, enhancing our sustainability credentials and reducing our exposure to increasing energy costs along the way. It has also instilled an enormous sense of pride across our team of 350 people, knowing that the action we are taking today will make a positive difference to our environment now, and ultimately the livelihoods of future generations.”
This marks the single biggest sustainability investment programme by an independent retailing group in Ireland and follows other initiatives across the Furey Smyth Group including the rollout of energy efficient lighting across all stores, along with a comprehensive infrastructure optimisation initiative aimed at identifying energy efficiency opportunities across all aspects or retailing, including heating limiters, timed lighting, and regular technology maintenance.
“Ultimately, we are working towards carbon neutrality, and are targeting being off grid in the summertime in the near term. Newer technologies are currently being developed and tested which will facilitate complete carbon neutrality in the future, and we endeavour to embrace these solutions as they become available”, added Chris Furey.
Complimenting Chris and the Furey Smyth Group, Malachy Hanberry, Managing Director, EUROSPAR Ireland commented, “Chris and his team are showing real forward-thinking and leadership in this area of sustainability within the supermarket industry and I want to pay tribute to them for embarking on this project and bringing it to life. This is a huge undertaking by them and one they are truly committed to.”
Furey Smyth Group operates a network of eight EUROSPAR supermarkets that includes EUROSPAR Hartstown, EUROSPAR Applewood, EUROSPAR Barnhall, EUROSPAR Lucan, EUROSPAR, Kinnegad, EUROSPAR Newmarket and Fergus, EUROSPAR Castlecomer, and EUROSPAR Kill.