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Donegal supermarket helps spearhead environmental change

Kenny and Doherty SuperValu Carndonagh shining a light on sustainability

Donegal supermarket helps spearhead environmental change

The SuperValu store in Carndonagh

Kenny and Doherty SuperValu Carndonagh teamed up with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) this year to help to spearhead environmental change in both the Irish retail sector and their local community through the ‘Building Sustainable Communities’ initiative.

Once again in partnership with the SEAI, a number of community upgrade projects were completed, with 10 stores across Ireland participating in the initiative.

The initiative called on Kenny and Doherty SuperValu Carndonagh to identify and upgrade areas of their own operations which could be made more energy efficient, in keeping with high standards of energy efficiency and renewable energy usage.

It also enabled them to identify community buildings in their area to donate funds and enable them to upgrade their facilities.

The overall objective of this initiative is to reduce energy costs, fossil fuel usage and greenhouse gas emissions year on year.

Under this scheme, the store had brand new solar PV panels installed on the roof. This installation led to energy usage reductions of over 140,000 KWH. This is equivalent in energy terms to powering 34 houses per year in the local community.

Speaking in relation to their participation in the scheme, store owner Gerry Doherty said this was a hugely successful partnership with the SEAI for us and they’re delighted with the results so far.

"To be able to see the positive impact of this initiative in our local community is brilliant and we look forward to continuing to work towards a more sustainable SuperValu Carndonagh over the next 12 months.”

In previous years, Kenny and Doherty SuperValu Carndonagh’s refrigeration and freezer systems also went through an energy efficiency overhaul, with new LED lighting upgrades also installed in store.

Further evidence of their commitment to environmental awareness is that their hot water is harvested from their in-store refrigeration units since opening in 2007.

Not only is the Carndonagh store conserving energy through the LED lighting upgrades, they are also now creating their own eco-friendly energy to power their store.

While seeing a significant reduction in their own energy bills from the work that was done, Kenny and Doherty SuperValu Carndonagh also nominated their local soccer club, Carn FC, so that they too could become more energy efficient.

As a result of the initiative, funding was provided to Carn FC for cavity and roof insulation, and for the installation of LED lighting for the clubhouse which led to an annual saving for the club of €1,800.

Speaking in relation to their role within the Sustainable Communities Initiative, Declan Meally, head of transport and communities with SEAI said they are delighted to work with SuperValu and the communities on another successful year for the ‘Building for Sustainable Communities' initiative.

"This year it was great to see another ten stores across Ireland, with each stepping up to the plate to make sustainability improvements in store and provide some additional benefits for their wider communities.

"Everyone can contribute to a sustainable future for Ireland by making sustainable changes. You can do this from home by reducing your energy usage; by perhaps starting with upgrading your lights to LED bulbs. SEAI also see the added benefit of working together as a community and we now have a network of over 500 Sustainable Energy Communities across Ireland who are taking action and working on our future.

"We’re proud to once more support these projects with SuperValu and recognise that it is a successful model that has delivered each year and we look forward to working with more stores and communities across Ireland in the future,” Mr Meally said.

Echoing the statement of the SEAI, Ian Allen, managing director for SuperValu and Centra added as part of our sustainability plans, they are committed to making a real difference and creating a positive impact on communities across Ireland.

"We are constantly looking for ways in which we can operate our business in more environmentally friendly ways for example we are working to ensure that 100% of our ‘Own Brand’ range packaging will be recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025 and to reduce our carbon emissions to be net zero carbon by 2050.”

“The Building Sustainable Communities initiative is one that we are proud to be part of each year and it’s quite rewarding to see a significant reduction in the various stores’ energy bills having completed the various works. It’s even more rewarding to see our community buildings are also benefitting from this initiative and I look forward to the other positive changes we’ll make together in the future,” Mr Allen added.

To learn how you can make small changes with a big impact see,, or follow #SustainableSundays #EverythingYouNeed or #ThereWhenYouNeedUs on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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