Lidl Greece has become the largest owner of certified green buildings in Greece, with a retrofit programme that is decarbonising its stores across the country.
The retailer has achieved EDGE green building certification for 215 stores across Greece, using the international green building standard created by IFC, which is part of the World Bank. This makes Lidl the largest owner of certified green buildings in Greece.
EDGE helps property owners and developers build and operate green buildings. It is supported by free software that encourages solutions to improve energy efficiency, water efficiency and the embodied energy in materials by at least 20% compared to a local baseline, which is the minimum standard for EDGE certification. The local baseline is calculated based on building codes, local climatic data and standard industry practices for Greece. It provides the perfect platform to improve the sustainability of a retail business, helping to quantify performance and reduce the carbon footprint of stores and distribution centres.
“Lidl Greece has done something that many think is impossible: implement a decarbonisation refurbishment strategy and certify the achievements across a portfolio of existing assets,” says Eleni Polychroniadou, Commercial Director at Sintali, who alongside SGS areone of IFC’s global certification providers for EDGE. “The ability to scale such a program for hundreds of buildings located throughout the entire country is inspiring and serves as a decarbonisation roadmap for other companies in Greece.”
Lidl Greece started the EDGE certification process in 2018 with Sintali and SGS. 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. Once the buildings met the EDGE standard, they were certified with Sintali-SGS, who developed a streamlined process to help Lidl certify its portfolio of stores in a resource-efficient manner.
For all existing stores, applying EDGE meant taking stores that were built years ago and bringing them up to current building codes, before working on the 20% efficiency improvements. In some cases, stores were constructed over 20 years ago. This makes the retrofit effort significant and underlines Lidl Greece’s sustainability strategy of focusing on constant improvements over time.
“Greece has a major challenge ahead to decarbonise the existing building stock, which makes up the majority of the buildings in the country,” said Alex Michail, Managing Director at SGS Greece. “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 Hellas is a prime example of what is possible and we have no doubt they will continue to push the boundaries in the coming years.”
The decarbonisation of Lidl’s stores contributes to the company’s emissions reductions targets, and emphasis on saving scarce resources. By achieving EDGE certification on its portfolio of buildings, Lidl Greece is saving 9,137 tons of carbon dioxide per year, 600,041 cubic metres of water per year and 20,022 MWh per year of energy.
As the next phase, the company will be certifying its new stores and implementing on-site renewable energy, while continuing to seek additional opportunities through the EDGE App to improve the resource efficiency of all of its existing building stock.
You can find out more about EDGE certification here.
For more information about EDGE in Greece, you can contact SGS Greece at +30 210 572 0777
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