The new energy efficiency network, set up to address climate change, met for the first time in May 2016. Eight companies within the Metro group, including METRO Cash & Carry, REAL, Media Saturn and the recently acquired Rungis Express, as well as Galeria Kaufhof in Germany are part of the initiative. They plan to gather 3 to 4 times a year; the next regular meeting will be held in October 2016.

The group has set out a plan to save 100 GWh of energy and thereby reduce their emission by 60.000 tons of CO2 within the next three years. To this end the network will focus on training of employees, sustainable lighting, and electric mobility.

Cooling on top of the agenda

Olaf Schulze, Director of Energy Management at METRO, the largest member of the Metro Group, said in an interview with “cooling and refrigeration is one of the important topics during the network’s meetings”.

Mr. Schulze confirmed the discussions often focus on maintenance and repair of refrigeration systems.

`The smaller organisations within the group do not always have the technical knowledge yet. Therefore, the meetings are beginning to help guide other members towards natural refrigerants’, Schulze said. In fact, he plans to share his know-how and knowledge with the other members so they can also learn about natural refrigerants, especially CO2.

Cost/benefit analysis, a driver for CO2 installations

“Adopting systems based on natural refrigerants is in fact guided by budget and strategic decisions, rather than solely related to energy efficiency” according to Schulze.

METRO Cash & Carry has been a long proponent of CO2 and this is reflected in their strategy to reduce emissions by 95% by 2030, with 2011 as base year. With the installation of CO2 transcritical systems and the testing of ejector technologies, they expect to reduce energy costs considerably.

So far, METRO Cash & Carry and REAL have had 47 CO2 transcritical systems in Europe and another 20 are under construction. 

In the rest of the world, they have had some installations of subcritical CO2 systems in Russia and China, where they have also plans to switch to CO2 transcritical systems in the near future.