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Tackling climate change the Co-op leads the way

Friday, August 13, 2010

Meg Munn MP was very pleased to hear how the Co-operative Group has taken up the challenge of climate change. As a business encompassing over 4,500 properties, taking in convenience stores and supermarkets, pharmacies, funeral homes, travel agents and banking units, their decision to make this issue a priority sent a strong signal to the rest of the business world.


The Co-operative Group decided to work on the issue of climate change in three ways: by firstly reducing their energy consumption, secondly through a renewable energy procurement strategy, and thirdly by developing a variety of renewable generation projects throughout the UK. 


They have over 4,000 outlets powered by renewable energy, and are planning to achieve a 25% reduction in the amount of energy used by 2012.  They currently have 58 Megawatts of wind energy development built or with planning permission, allowing them to generate 15% of their electricity needs from their own projects based on their own land, with a further 32 Megawatts awaiting planning permission.


The Group have built the UK’s largest photovoltaic project at its head office complex in Manchester. They also have a programme to develop further wind as well as micro hydro, biomass and anaerobic digestion projects.  

They have close working with local communities where these renewable projects are located, and initiate community funding and education programmes. The environmental education programme, “Energy Works”, is based on their wind farm in Cambridgeshire and provides dedicated curriculum teaching on energy, proving extremely popular with the many schools involved.


Meg commented:


“I congratulate the Co-operative Group for taking the threat of climate change seriously, and changing their operations to take help tackle it.


As a member of the Co-operative Group it is gratifying to see how much effort they are putting into this important problem. It will not have been easy formulating a plan covering all of their activities, and then executing it, to make sure that the Co-op fulfils its responsibilities in this area.”


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