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County Armagh retailer makes strides in sustainability

SuperValu Fruitfield owner Philip Woods (left) is joined by Musgrave NI Project Manager Paul Abraham (centre) and Solmatix Managing Director Neville Bell (right).

A number of County Armagh SuperValu and Centra stores are going solar to reduce their carbon footprint as part of Musgrave’s £3.6m sustainability fund.

Retailer Philip Woods, who operates four SuperValu and Centra stores in the Armagh and Portadown areas, has invested £660,000 to reduce his store’s carbon emissions and make them more sustainable, supporting brand owner Musgrave Northern Ireland’s sustainability goals.

Investing in new energy efficient refrigeration, LED lighting, and solar panels, the retailer has also been supported by Musgrave NI’s £3.6 million Sustainability Fund.

Announced last year, the fund is aimed at empowering SuperValu and Centra retailers to reduce their carbon footprint and help make every community a sustainable one. With £42,500 per SuperValu store and £21,250 per Centra store available for retailers, which was subsequently topped up by a further £14,000 per SuperValu and £7,000 per Centra store, the business has encouraged them to make suitable upgrades based on the stores’ needs and set-up, including upgrading freezers and refrigeration units, LED lighting retrofit, solar panels and electronic shelf edge labels (eSELs).

Based on the expected take up of the fund, the company’s carbon emissions are expected to reduce by 12% over the next two years.

Mr Woods is the first retailer in Musgrave NI’s network to use the Sustainability Fund for solar panels, which have been installed by local company Solmatix into SuperValu Fruitfield, Richhill and Tandragee, plus Centra Dobbin Road.

The solar panels will reduce carbon emissions by saving a predicted 49 tonnes of co2 across the four sites each year helping to achieve Musgrave NI’s overall target of net zero carbon by 2040.  This is the equivalent to planting 1,856 trees.

Separate from the Fund, the retailer has also invested in LED lighting in the stores and petrol forecourt canopies, and upgraded door refrigeration, including a high-tech water-cooled refrigeration system in SuperValu Fruitfield, which not only uses less refrigerant gases but also provides heated water for all the site needs.

Philip Woods said: We all have a responsibility to do our bit to combat climate change, which is the biggest threat to humanity globally. We are proud to be the first stores to install solar panels through the Sustainability Fund which will improve our sustainability, as well as contribute to Musgrave’s goal of zero carbon by 2040.

“Our new refrigeration system will also really make a difference in reducing our carbon footprint. I’d like to thank Musgrave for its support and hope that our commitment and passion for a greener planet helps to inspire our customers and other retailers.”

Paul Abraham, Project Manager of Musgrave NI’s sustainability fund, added: “The initiatives that our retail partner Mr Woods has implemented across his stores will be instrumental in helping the business achieve our target of carbon neutral by 2040. The aim of the fund is to empower our retailers to influence positive change in their communities, and ultimately help consumers shop more sustainably.

“Battling the climate crisis is a global effort and we’re grateful to our exceptional retail partners for doing their part at a local level.”

Neville Bell, Managing Director of Solmatix, continued: “We are delighted to work with Musgrave to bring a clean and green source of energy to these stores. Using solar panels means no pollution or greenhouse gases and they are self-sufficient and an easy way to contribute to a sustainable future.”

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