Lidl Greece has become the largest owner of certified green buildings in Greece, with a retrofit programme that is decarbonising its stores and distribution centres.
|Project Name||Lidl Greece Portfolio|
|Location||Cities across Greece|
|Buildings Certified||229 buildings|
|Total Floor Area Certified||507,667 m²|
|Certification Date||July 2021|
|Duration of Certification||3 years from registration to completion|
Present in Greece since 1999, Lidl Greece is one of the leading retailers in the country. Employing over 6,500 people throughout the country across 228 stores, as well as 5 logistics centres, Lidl Greece plays a critical role in the country’s economy. At the core of the company’s operations is a clear mission: put the customer-first, protect scarce resources and ensure there is respect for all. The company has been recognised for 5 consecutive years as a top employer in Greece and Europe, and four years in a row as one of the most sustainable companies in Greece.
Lidl Greece started the EDGE certification process with Sintali and SGS in 2018. By using the EDGE App to identify opportunities for efficiency improvements, Lidl Greece identified areas for retrofit which would both reduce carbon and provide a cost-effective return. This included highlighting the most effective green technologies to adopt, such as LED lights and reduced flow water fittings in most stores, and implementing the retrofit strategy.
Stores are situated throughout Greece. Each building achieved an EDGE score of at least 20% better energy performance over the Greek local baseline, which is the starting point for EDGE certification. Some buildings have achieved over 30% better energy performance.
The local baseline EDGE used is based on local Greek building regulations and takes into account climatic conditions for the Mediterranean. Many of the Lidl Greece stores are over 20 years old, so reaching EDGE certification meant bringing them up to current building codes (which is where the baseline is set), before making the efficiency improvements to reach the EDGE standard.
In general terms, this means a typical store will reduce its carbon footprint, with energy savings of around 90 MWh/year, reduced water consumption of around 3,000m3 annually, and a saving of over 40 tonnes of CO2 per year. This means Lidl Greece is making financial savings to add to carbon savings, and increasing resource efficiency.
To date, Lidl Greece has achieved EDGE certification for 229 buildings throughout the country, making the company the owner of the largest portfolio of certified assets in the country. According to data provided by the Sustainable Building Council in Greece, prior to this there were just 47 green certified buildings in total across Greece at the end of 2020.
Lidl Greece also achieved EDGE Zero Carbon certification for its flagship store in Lamia. It is the first certified zero carbon building with the international standard throughout the country. The flagship store improved energy efficiency by 59% compared to the local baseline value. The use of onsite and offsite renewables, primarily solar photovoltaics enabled Lamia to then achieve EDGE Zero Carbon.
Sustainability is a key part of Lidl Greece’ strategy. The company is involved with many initiatives ranging from the UN Global Compact to the Science-Based Targets initiative. The carbon footprint coming from the operations of the company’s buildings is a significant part of the company’s overall footprint and so focusing on improving the efficiency is an essential strategy for the company’s climate commitments.
EDGE has been a useful tool to help Lidl Greece understand the impact of its current portfolio and identify opportunities for improvements. By assessing where the buildings are today, the company was able to develop a retrofit strategy and implement it across its portfolio.
By undergoing EDGE certification on its stores, Lidl Greece was also able to secure a 40 million Euro loan for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to support the energy efficiency investments and roll out of the “Green Store Concept.”
The team at Lidl Greece are already preparing to work on the next batch of stores, which will be implemented under EDGE version 3.0. The new EDGE version has an updated baseline to reflect building code changes in the last two years, as well as an expanded section of climate data and more detailed attention to embodied carbon.
“Greece has a major challenge ahead to decarbonise the existing building stock, which makes up the majority of the buildings in the country. With the current emphasis on a green recovery and the national push towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions, companies will need to step up their sustainability strategies and focus on energy demand reduction to ultimately transition to net zero. Lidl Greece is a prime example of what is possible and we have no doubt they will continue to push the boundaries in the coming years” says Alex Michail, Managing Director at SGS Greece.
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