GLOBAL retailer Marks & Spencer is introducing eco-refrigeration in response to pressure from consumers to lower its carbon footprint
M&S has opened the first of three green stores with CO2 refrigeration and air conditioning this month. Its first eco-shop was unveiled in Bournemouth on October 4. The store uses up to 25% less energy than before the refit following the installation of new systems and equipment across lighting, refrigeration and heating and ventilation.
It is powered with green renewable energy, delivering a 92% carbon dioxide saving.
Its refrigeration system is based on the natural refrigerants hydrocarbon and CO2 (R744). As one of the first of its kind, the store will also completely eliminate HFC refrigerants from the air conditioning system, as the air will be cooled via the CO2 refrigeration plant.
In addition, fridges will be fitted with guards to reduce cool air leakage that will save at least 4% of the energy needed to operate each fridge.
The Bournemouth shop is one of four trial eco stores due to open. Scotland's first HFC-free 'Simply Food' M&S store is expected to open in Galashields in late October.
The eco-stores are part of Plan A, M&S' £200m five year green plan announced last January.
Niall Trafford, executive of store design and specification at Marks & Spencer, said: 'We now have over 250 M&S 'Simply Food' stores across the UK, so trialling eco-solutions to meet the challenges that food retailing presents is a major factor that will help us reach Marks & Spencer's overall goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2012.