Coles gains certification for first sustainable supermarket

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Coles has achieved the first Green Star rating for a supermarket, with Coles Hallam in south east Melbourne awarded a 4 Star Green Star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA). “Coles was determined to develop a ‘supermarket of the future’ – and in doing so, has set a new benchmark for sustainable supermarket design in Australia,” says the GBCA’s Chief Executive Officer, Romilly Madew.

“Coles now has a framework for sustainable supermarkets that are not only more efficient and cost-effective to run, but are also more comfortable places in which to work and shop,” Ms Madew adds.

In 2009, Coles began working with the GBCA to develop a Green Star rating tool able to assess the sustainability of supermarkets. The project aimed to develop a model store with sustainable strategies and technologies that Coles could integrate into construction and refurbishment projects.

Coles Property General Manager Sam Pinchbeck says that Coles is proud to be the first Australian supermarket to develop a Green Star rating tool to support its sustainability initiatives.

“We have already used our Green Star rating tool to guide the design and construction of our supermarket at Hallam, and now have the opportunity to measure and manage continual improvement in the sustainable design of our supermarkets in the future,” Mr Pinchbeck says.

Key achievements at Coles Hallam include:

  • 50% more fresh air compared to minimum standards, through high-performance heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems
  • 15% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, with highly-efficient chillers and heat reclaimed from refrigeration cases used to supply heating to other parts of the supermarket
  • LED lighting installed throughout, reducing energy consumption and internal heating loads
  • 70% reduction in water consumption, compared with traditional supermarkets, from a range of water-efficiency measures, including water-efficient fixtures and fittings, and 150,000 litre capacity water tanks
  • First supermarket in Australia to undergo a Life Cycle Assessment, allowing Coles to make comparisons between different materials and products to pick the healthy, efficient and sustainable options.

“We now have compelling international research that confirms green retail buildings – with good natural light and ventilation, high-performance heating and cooling systems, and materials low in harmful chemicals – are not only more efficient and cheaper to operate, but can also improve the experience for customers and the return on investment for owners,” Ms Madew explains.

The Green Retail and Hospitality SmartMarket Report (McGraw Hill 2013) found that green building projects in the US retail sector were delivering a 15 per cent reduction in energy use, an eight per cent reduction in operating costs, a seven percent increase in asset value, and an eight per cent increase in return on investment.

“Coles is committed to sustainability because we know it’s good for our customers, good for business and the right thing to do for the environment. Gaining this Green Star rating is one significant way we are achieving our sustainability goals,” Mr Pinchbeck says.

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