After its energy spend reached £12 million in 2008,
rapidly expanding fashion retailer, Primark, decided to explore the
potential to cut its energy costs and appeal to environmentally
conscious shoppers. After joining our Carbon Management scheme and
receiving building design advice, the company has developed a pilot
store which is set to deliver carbon savings of almost 50% over its
current new build design.
The business case
Founded in Dublin in 1969, today Primark has 198 stores in
operation, of which 139 are in the UK.
Primark's baseline energy sped in 2008 was £12 million; a figure
that was set to rise as its estate continued to expand rapidly. As
a result, the company wanted to reduce its energy consumption and
cut its bills. At the same time it was keen to improve its green
credentials and demonstrate to customers that it was delivering
carbon emissions savings.
With this in mind, Primark approached the Carbon Trust in 2008
for advice on developing a new approach to energy consumption.
In addition to our Carbon Management service, we provided
Primark with building design advice in order to explore how close
to carbon neutrality in could bring its new flagship store in East
The initial ambition was to deliver a carbon neutral store, and
Primark grasped the opportunity to treat its East Ham development
as a pilot project, implementing as many carbon saving strategies
as possible as a trial site for future premises. However, the
renewable energy technologies needed to make the store carbon
neutral did not deliver a payback within Primark's investment
policies. But the final store is still expected to deliver a 48%
carbon saving compared to previous stores.
Taking it forward
Further ideas have been embraced. Recycled aluminium has been
successfully used as wall protection, doors and wood panels are
made of sustainable timber and linoleum has replaced plastic
laminate on the work surfaces. Rainwater harvesting, percussion
taps and cycle-to-work schemes have also been successfully
"Once the store is open we will see the true results, but the
expected nearly 50% savings on our current new build design are
very exciting. We aim to implement the successful measures
elsewhere once we can see them in action," says Peter. "The store
manager is very enthusiastic, and looking forward to publicising
the store's sustainability to customers."
Primark has now embarked on a Carbon Strategy project with us,
which will help the company gain a deeper understanding of the
risks and opportunities of climate change and the low carbon
economy, and develop a long-term vision, targets and road map to
manage its business towards a sustainable, low carbon future.
Download Primark case study (PDF)