Morrisons launches “lower environmental impact store” for carbon and waste savings
27 Jul 2022 --- Morrisons is opening a “lower environmental impact store” in Little Clacton, UK. The store will use 43% less carbon, stock 366 loose products and be almost waste-free by using less packaging and enabling consumers to return their waste to the store. It will also quadruple locally-sourced products, increasing biodiversity schemes and community hours.
David Potts, CEO of Morrisons, says: “This store is a significant step forward on our [environmental] sustainability journey. It brings together all of the environmental and social initiatives we have created that can be rolled out into other stores across the country. It will start to inform the design of many more similar stores to come.”
The new store design incorporates Morrisons’ widest range of structural features and loose products to reduce carbon emissions, energy and resources and limit its environmental footprint.
The supermarket says the innovations include loose products, a low carbon impact building, next generation fridges powered by CO2 from agricultural waste, roof solar panels to provide a fifth of the required energy, rainwater harvesting for toilet flushing, a near zero-waste back-of-house system and facilities to recycle customers’ waste.
In addition to low impact design and decreased packaging and waste, the store also offers a significant number of locally-sourced products, a range of biodiversity schemes, more healthy and nutritious foods and more support to the local community.
All of the store’s practical initiatives and designs are said to have potential to be scaled up and introduced across the Morrisons store estate.
The store will house Morrisons widest range of no-plastic products – priced the same or less than their standard equivalents – allowing customers to half the amount of plastic in their weekly shop, along with a range of local and eco- product options.
The plastic reduction is likely to attract consumer support. According to Innova Market Insights, 42% of UK consumers regard an increased usage of plastic packaging as unnecessary after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Also, a majority of UK consumers (53%) have indicated that they are noticing a gradual reduction in the use of single-use plastics to package everyday items.
The Little Clacton store will have 43% lower operational emissions than a standard store. Aligned with the government’s plan to increase renewable energy, it will generate its own power and move away from gas. Carbon reduction is achieved through:
- No gas supply and instead only using electricity.
- Solar panels installed on the roof, providing nearly 20% of its energy.
- Air source heat pumps using waste heat from fridges to heat the store and its hot water.
- Next generation fridges using CO2 from agricultural waste instead of harmful HFCs.
- “EcoBlades” fitted to fridge shelves, to trap cold air inside and reduce energy use.
- Operation of electric Morrisons delivery vehicles. 20 electrical vehicle charging stations for customers along with EV stations for colleagues’ cars and with charging speeds from 15 minutes to eight hours.
The store will stock 366 loose products with no plastic packaging, including:
- 70 products in refill hoppers, including pasta, coffee, home baking, pulses and herbs, as well as refillable household cleaning products and 11 “naked” and refillable health and beauty products.
- 76 types of fruit and vegetables.
- A loose bakery with 57 plastic free breads and buns.
- A 18-strong frozen loose fruit, bread and pastry pick and mix section.
- 14 “loose” pet foods.
- Plastic-free shopping for over 110 products at the meat, fish, deli counters using refillable containers.
- Milk sold only in Tetra Pack, plastic packaging being removed around multipack cans, and water being sold in boxes and cans.
Local product sourcing
The retailer will also stock a range of locally sourced products from local farmers, growers and foodmakers to help the local economy and minimize food miles.
The products have been sourced as part of Morrisons Nation's Local Foodmakers program, which searches for locally-known food and drinks.
Over 250 local beers, spirits, fruits, vegetables, eggs, pies, breads, jams, teas, sauces, biscuits and crisps will be supplied from less than 35 miles away, against an average of 50 lines in Morrisons regular stores South East stores.
The store will be the first to trial Morrisons carbon neutral eggs. It will also comply with forthcoming government regulation related to high fat, sugar and salt – and will stock Morrisons Nourish range of healthier food, counted range of calorie-controlled alternatives, along with front-of-pack traffic light and Healthier Living icon product labels.
A Plant Revolution range will also be stocked to make plant-based products more accessible to customers, along with 240 entry level price products to provide customers with affordable food.
By Natalie Schwertheim
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