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Tesco Uses Match-Making Software to Find Green Tech Partners

UK grocery giant Tesco has announced it will use iVeridis’ matchmaking software to help it find suppliers for energy-efficiency projects, helping the company reach its goal of being zero carbon by 2050.

With iVeridis’ Greensourcing Software Solution, companies can input their exact green-tech requirements, and are then “matched” to products and services available across iVeridis’ global network of more than 50,000 organizations, ranging from start-ups and SMEs, to universities and established R&D companies.

Tesco and iVeridis completed a pilot in 2011, in which Tesco ran a search for a number of environmental projects, including LED lighting for Express stores (the chain’s smaller grocery markets) and small-scale energy from waste generators. Tesco’s engineering team is now assessing these technologies. If deemed successful, they will be trialled in several stores before moving to a wider roll-out.

In recent years Tesco has implemented various initiatives to curb energy usage and carbon emissions at its 2,979 UK stores. In 2009, the company opened the world’s first zero-carbon supermarket at Ramsey, Cambridgeshire, and has since opened a further six such stores, most recently at Cefn Mawr in Wales. Tesco uses its zero-carbon stores to try new technologies; if they’re successful, they are then implemented in other Tesco locations.

Tesco also says it plans to accelerate its store Refresh program, which it says will refurbish hundreds of additional stores and implement new energy-efficient technologies.

One of the company’s closest British competitors, Marks & Spencer, has said that as of 2012, all M&S-operated stores, offices, warehouse and delivery fleets in the UK have been certified as carbon neutral. Meanwhile supermarket chain Sainsbury’s has pledged that by 2020, it will reduce operational carbon emissions by 30 percent in absolute terms and and 65 percent on a relative basis, compared with 2005 levels.

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

Recently, research from the ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy project has found that supermarkets’ energy-savings potential can be sustained up to 10 years — longer than is commonly believed.

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