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Tesco Opens Zero-Carbon Store

Tesco has opened its fourth zero-carbon store, the first such retail outlet in Ireland, the company announced.

The U.K.-based grocery giant already has zero-carbon stores in Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire in England, and Welshpool in Wales. The stores all include features to reduce energy use, and all transfer to the grid an amount of renewable energy equal to their consumption.

Tesco says the new store in Cabra, Dublin (pictured) includes lights that dim according to the level of natural daylight, and rainwater collection for flushing staff toilets. The store also features a combined heat, cooling and power plant that generates renewable electricity, the company said – though it didn’t specify the source of the power.

Bukky Bird, head of engineering and environment – property services, said that with each stores, Tesco has been able to refine its designs and include more innovative environmental features. The chain has a target of becoming a zero-carbon business by 2050.

In the U.S., Tesco operates the Fresh & Easy chain, whose environmental initiatives have included rooftop solar installations, natural gas vehicles, and CO2 refrigeration.

Last month, Tesco was one of the major European businesses calling for recalibration of the EU Emission Trading Scheme, to bring stability to carbon markets. The Prince of Wales’s EU Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change (EUCLG) sent a letter to EU decision makers saying that the economic crisis has significantly impacted the effectiveness of the EU ETS, causing the current low levels of trading and carbon price.

And in October, Tesco was one of over 180 companies calling on governments to agree a “robust, equitable and effective agreement” at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change meeting in Durban, South Africa, saying that without such a deal, business won’t have enough certainty to invest to its full potential.

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