Energy that regenerates
Increasingly, we are relying on energy production using renewable energy sources, such as woodchip heating at POS and distribution centres, photovoltaic units on our properties and the promotion of biogas plants among Naturafarm producers.
A modern wood cutting plant with flue gas scrubbing: We use this for the supermarket and the restaurant at the Muripark shopping centre in Muri. Compared with the use of conventional oil heating, we thus save 90 tonnes of CO2 each year. In 2011, our own industrial bakery in Gossau became the first industrial bakery in Switzerland to use a modern woodchip-fired heating system, enabling us to reduce annual CO2 emissions by 70 percent.
This equates to 900 tonnes. In 2012, our Interdiscount sales format also installed a woodchip-fired heating system in its logistics warehouse in Jegenstorf. The new system meets 80 percent of its heating requirements and annual CO2 emissions have fallen by 280 tonnes as a result.
28 photovoltaic systems
We have installed 28 photovoltaic systems on our buildings, with a total output of 5'500 kilowatts. These systems produce around 6.1 million kilowatt hours of solar electricity each year, which is enough to meet the average annual electricity requirements of up to 1'800 Swiss households. Since 2016, we have using this environmentally friendly electricity ourselves in our points of sale.
Support for biogas plants
Between 2005 and 2011, the Coop Sustainability Fund supported the construction of biogas plants at Naturafarm and Naturaplan producers, providing up to 200'000 Swiss francs. These 11 plants produce around 6.4 million kilowatt hours of electricity a year from biogenic waste, enough to meet the energy consumption of up to 2'000 Swiss households.
Our distribution centre in Wangen has been refurbished, enabling us to reduce its annual heat requirements by 30 percent. Today, three ground water heat pumps are already meeting 70 percent of those requirements and the remaining heat is supplied by a new gas heating system. We are currently building a new industrial bakery in Schafisheim.
Each year, 20'000 megawatt hours of process heat are required in the form of thermal oil heated to 300 degrees. We will obtain 85 percent of the required heat from biomass. Thus, in addition to woodchips, milling by-products from Swissmill will also be used.