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Sainsbury’s and Nestle go green with new energy initiatives

Nestle has announced a new wind farm in Scotland designed to supply half the power needed for its UK operations while Sainsbury’s is trialling a refrigerated delivery truck cooled by a liquid nitrogen-powered engine that it says will lower emissions.

Nestle has committed to buying electricity generated by a new nine-turbine wind farm in Dumfries and Galloway owned by Community Windpower once it opens in the first half of 2017. The deal will see Nestle use the facility for at least 15 years.

The wind farm will produce around 125 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity a year, the amount needed to power 30,000 homes, all of which will be bought by Nestle to meet 50 per cent of its electricity needs in the UK and Ireland.

Nestle had already announced it would get all its grid-supplied electricity from renewables in a deal with EDF, but the global food giant said the deal to buy energy from the wind farm would ensure new low carbon power capacity was constructed.

Dame Fiona Kendrick, chief executive of Nestle UK & Ireland, said: “This is a newly-commissioned wind farm, generating new energy, creating capacity that didn’t previously exist and capable of providing half of our electricity needs.

“It’s a proud moment for us and means we have reached another key milestone in our efforts to become a sustainable business.”

The company also had an aim to cut its UK carbon footprint by 40 per cent by 2020, which it said it will hit well ahead of schedule.

Meanwhile, Sainsbury’s has become the first company in the world to introduce a refrigerated delivery truck cooled by a liquid nitrogen-powered engine, which eliminates all emissions associated with refrigeration.

The zero-emission cooling unit replaces the traditional diesel engine used to chill the vehicle.

During the vehicle’s three-month trial, it is predicted that 1.6 tonnes of carbon dioxide will be saved, the equivalent of driving over 14,500 km in a modern family car.

The trial will also save 37kg of nitrogen oxides and 2kg of particulate matter, compared to a similar diesel system. The truck will operate from Sainsbury’s Waltham Point depot, delivering chilled goods to stores in the London area.

The system works by harnessing the rapid expansion of liquid nitrogen to deliver zero-emission power and cooling. Traditionally many refrigerated trucks require two diesel engines, one to power the vehicle and one for the refrigeration unit.

Paul Crewe, Head of Sustainability for Sainsbury’s, said: “As one of Britain’s biggest retailers we really recognise the importance of reducing emissions, which is why we’re working hard to cut carbon emissions by 30 per cent between 2005 and 2020. [This] zero-­emission system is really exciting, to be running a liquid air engine quite literally means our cooling is running on thin air!”


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