K Group achieves energy efficiency targets set for 2025 ahead of schedule with the help of various innovations

In 2017, K Group committed to reducing its energy consumption by 7.5% by the year 2025. Data now show that K Group has achieved the objective four years ahead of schedule.

“We have been able to achieve our target in advance thanks to the quick adoption of various technological innovations. Key tools in improving energy efficiency include modernising refrigerating equipment and lighting, our award-winning heat recycling system, and innovations such as utilising artificial intelligence in analysing a store’s energy consumption,” says Matti Kalervo, Kesko’s Vice President of Corporate Responsibility. 

The target set in 2017 was based on the retail sector Energy Efficiency Agreement: at the time, K Group strived to save at least 79 GWh of energy by the year 2025 – a figure that corresponded to 7.5% of its energy consumption in 2015. This was an ambitious target, as K Group had already been actively working towards better energy efficiency for decades, publishing its first Energy Guide manual way back in 1982. 

“One of the main steps has been the new heat recycling system developed in cooperation with our partner, which has enabled us to reduce district heat consumption in our stores by as much as 95%. We have also gotten good results from utilising artificial intelligence in analysing stores’ energy consumption,” says Kalervo. 

K Group now saves over 80 GWh of energy per year compared to 2015, which corresponds to the annual consumption of some 100 K-Supermarket stores. K Group continues efforts to improve its energy efficiency further, spurred on by the objective of becoming carbon neutral by 2025. 

Newly renovated K-Citymarket Tammisto employs all energy saving tools

The K-Citymarket Tammisto hypermarket in Vantaa was recently fully renovated, and is now an example of a store that employs all K Group’s energy saving tools. In addition to hosting a solar power plant, modern refrigerating equipment, and the heat recycling system, the store employs a new lighting solution and an automation system analytics service. 

“Updating the refrigeration system of K-Citymarket Tammisto to an energy-efficient system that utilises natural carbon dioxide refrigerant has a significant environmental impact. We will also save energy thanks to the energy-efficient heat recycling system: we expect the store’s district heat consumption to decrease by some 70% next winter,” says Antti Kokkonen, Building Services Manager at Kesko’s grocery trade division.  

Originally built in 2016, the solar power plant on the store’s rooftop has so far produced some 2,000 MWh of electricity, on average some 400 MWh per year. All electricity used in the store has been renewable since 2017. Going forward, this will increasingly mean Finnish wind power.

K-Citymarket Tammisto is also testing an advanced automation system analytics service and a new lighting solution – positive results could lead to other K Group stores also adopting those solutions. 

“The new lighting solution utilises the fact that the human eye adjusts to changes in lighting. We use dimmer lighting in the store during night time when our eyes are naturally used to less light,” explains Kokkonen.

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