Finland: K Group’s energy-saving measures deliver results

Kesko / FI. (kkc) The adjustments made to the lighting, heating and refrigeration equipment in stores during the energy-saving initiatives have reduced K Group’s electricity consumption by 2.7 GWh in October, or around 5 percent compared to October 2021. The electricity saved is equivalent to the annual consumption of around 130 electrically heated detached houses or almost 20 million kilometres driven with a small electric car. Energy renovations in the context of store refurbishments also have a significant impact on energy efficiency: for example, recycling waste heat typically reduces the annual consumption of district heat in a K-Citymarket by around 40-60 percent.

In early autumn, the K-Group launched a major energy-saving initiative involving more than 1 300 stores and numerous offices and warehouses. The first measures include adjusting heating, optimising refrigeration settings and reducing lighting in stores and offices.

«With the measures we have now implemented, we have managed to reduce our electricity consumption by 5 percent in a short time compared to a year ago. By setting an example, we want to encourage organisations and consumers alike to find ways to reduce their electricity consumption. By working together, we can reduce peak consumption and thus prevent potential power cuts in winter,» says Antti Kokkonen, Building Services Manager at Finland’s K-Group.

Prevention is key when it comes to cyclical power cuts, which have also been the subject of publicity. If outages are planned, it is important that they are as short as possible to ensure smooth customer service.

«At a practical level, shops already have clear procedures and guidelines in place for dealing with power cuts. We have already intensified and practised the review of these procedures to ensure that our customers’ transactions are as smooth as possible. However, we hope that good and joint foresight will help to avoid circulating power cuts,» says Kokkonen.

Continued investment in energy efficiency in stores

In addition to actively reducing energy consumption, K Group is continuously investing in the energy efficiency of its stores and properties. As a rule, energy renovations are carried out in connection with store renovations, for example by upgrading refrigeration and lighting in K-food stores and introducing new innovations such as heat recovery systems that recycle waste energy.

«Extensive energy renovations in connection with store renovations are significant investments for Kesko and the stores. The improvement in energy efficiency is significant: recycling waste heat will reduce the annual consumption of district heat in K-Citymarket by around 40-60 percent. The switch to LED lighting will reduce K-Citymarket’s electricity consumption by an average of about 500 MWh, which is equivalent to the annual consumption of about 25 electrically heated detached houses,» says Kokkonen.

A good example of an energy-efficient food store in the Helsinki metropolitan area is K-Citymarket Tammisto in Vantaa. In addition to a solar power plant, modern refrigeration equipment and a heat recycling system, the store is trialling a new lighting solution and an analytics service for its automation system.

In Tampere, new refrigeration systems, heat recovery systems and new, energy-efficient lighting solutions will be installed in all three K-Citymarkets as part of the renovations this year and next. The first K-Citymarket to be renovated, Turtola, is expected to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by around 140 tonnes per year, equivalent to more than 1.2 million kilometres driven.

Kesko and K-retailers form the K-Group, which has retail sales of more than EUR 15 billion. The K-Group is the third largest retailer in Northern Europe and employs approximately 45 000 people. Kesko operates in the grocery trade, the building and technical trade and the car trade. Its divisions and chains operate in close cooperation with retailer entrepreneurs and other partners. Kesko’s net sales exceed EUR 11 billion and it employs around 17 000 people. Kesko’s chain operations include approximately 1 800 stores in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. Kesko is a listed company and its shares are quoted on Nasdaq Helsinki. The company’s registered office and headquarters are located in Helsinki.

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