Greggs bakes in solar power

December 11, 2013 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

Britain’s largest bakery chain is cooking up some impressive carbon and energy savings, after it unveiled a series of major new solar installations.

Greggs has installed photovoltaic panels at 10 sites across the UK, in a move that it says will help slash its carbon emissions by 25% by 2015.

The 10 projects have seen a total of 1.28MW of capacity installed on bakery roofs, providing renewable power to the energy-hungry ovens that are used to bake the company’s famous cakes and pasties.

Stephen Weldon, social responsibility manager at Greggs, said that in addition to energy bill and carbon savings the company would also benefit from feed-in tariff payments.

“As a responsible business, we have a duty to manage our energy consumption by becoming more energy efficient in our bakery and retail operations,” he said.

“The installation of PV panels on our bakery roofs provided the perfect opportunity to make use of a previously unused [roof space], take advantage of the government’s feed-in tariff scheme and generate carbon-neutral electricity for use in the bakeries, and, therefore, reduce the amount of fossil fuel we need to buy and consume.”

He added that the PV installations will also help to boost Greggs’ reputation as a company that is seeking to keep a handle on rising energy prices and carbon emissions.

“Solar PV one of the most reliable renewable energies on the market, with proven technologies operating across the globe,” he said. “Installation makes a visible and public statement of an organisation’s sustainable credentials, and provides a very reliable payback in terms of energy savings as well as the guaranteed and index-linked FIT scheme.”

The solar panels will help Greggs meet a target to cut its carbon emissions by one quarter per £1m of turnover from 2010 to 2015, alongside energy efficiency measures in both its shops and bakeries.

The company has also this year been striving to boost its recycling rates to 90%, up from 80% last year.

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