Sainsbury’s gets in first

Sainsbury’s new flagship green store, which opened in Dartmouth in August, is the first UK supermarket to fit Monodraught 750mm diameter SunPipes in its main shop floor area, bringing all the benefits of natural daylight to the thousands of Sainsbury’s customers that shop there every week.

It is understood that food stores consume the most energy compared to other parts of Sainsbury’s operation, mainly due to services such as cooling, heating, and lighting. This is why improving energy efficiency continues to be one of the company’s top priorities. Energy efficiencies result from reductions in operational carbon, the CO2 emissions from the energy used at the store such as electricity; and embodied carbon which relates to how the store has been built and the energy used in its construction. The benefits are both economic and environmental, since using less energy means lower operational costs and lower CO2 emissions.  SunPipes, which are energy free, are classified as embodied carbon.


A total of 85 Monodraught SunPipes were installed in this pioneering store, helping it to achieve its target of slashing by 50% the energy currently taken from the national grid; and saving 40% off CO2 emissions. As the Sunpipes bring natural light into the store, artificial lights can be automatically dimmed or turned off to save energy. In addition in staff areas and toilets, motion sensors fitted in conjunction with daylight dimming ensure that lights cannot be switched on while the SunPipes are providing sufficient natural light.


Sixty-four 750mm diameter SunPipes provide natural daylight for the shop floor. A further sixteen 750mm diameter units are fitted in the offices, and five 300mm diameter units in other areas of the store.


Commenting for Sainsbury’s, Commercial Director Neil Sachdev says: “Our Dartmouth store is a leader in sustainable construction, being sensitive to its local environment and extremely low in energy usage. We have adopted a number of energy saving measures here – from the Monodraught SunPipes, which provide amazing natural light, to using a timber frame rather than steel, which consumes less energy in its production.”


A combination of the savings from embodied carbon and operational carbon techniques is estimated to contribute to cutting electricity (kWh) usage at the Dartmouth store by a third. Sainsbury’s is also aiming to be one of the first supermarkets to achieve a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating for its commitment to sustainable construction.


And if that isn’t enough, Sainsbury’s will be the first supermarket to make daily food deliveries to its Dartmouth environmental store using a lorry powered by bio-methane produced from rotting rubbish!

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