Smart, energy-efficient and green solutions in SPAR stores

SPAR Hungary focuses on sustainability and environmental-friendliness when building their new stores and renewing existing ones. They reduced their greenhouse gas emissions by 49 percent in 2021 when compared with 2017.

“Our company puts a special focus on minimising the negative environmental impacts of our operations. One of the main pillars of this agenda is the promotion of environmental-friendliness and the wide use of technologies and procedures which are closely linked to one another. SPAR Hungary’s main source of energy comes from electricity supply. As a result of the renovations of our lighting and heating/cooling systems, we are constantly reducing our electricity consumption. Thanks to the store renovations and energy-saving measures put in place, the greenhouse gas emission across our network has decreased by 49 percent since 2017, and we also reduced the emissions that are directly linked to the electricity supply we purchase by four percent in the last decade. Our efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. The company received the ‘Green Retailer of the Year’ award in 2020 as an acknowledgement of our environmentally-conscious corporate governance and the measurements we put in place,” explained Márk Maczelka, head of communications at SPAR Hungary.

Higher energy demand, lower consumption

Some of the supermarkets have been equipped with new functions during the renovation that need a greater electricity supply. But, thanks to the new technologies implemented their electricity consumption doesn’t increase and, in some cases, it is actually reduced by 10-15 percent. The explanation behind this is the technological and energy-saving measures put in place.

During the renovation of a store, all the lights in the building are replaced with LED lighting. This is also done during any partial renovation which only extends to the electricity system of the building. After the stores close, all lights are switched off including the lighting of the shop floor and only the safety lighting is left on. During the late night and early morning hours the lighting of the parking lots and advertising boards in less busy locations are turned off as well.


Heat recovery from the cooling systems

In 2018 SPAR Hungary opted to switch to the use of the ‘transcritical’ CO2 cooling technology, which is more environmentally-friendly, efficient and economical to operate in the long term. The first transcritical CO2 cooling system debuted this year which is based on the ejector expansion technology. The store chain is hoping for a further ten percent reduction in the use of electricity by the cooling systems.

Heat recovery results in significant savings as well. The integrated transcritical CO2 cooling system uses the heat from standard and walk-in refrigerators to produce hot water and in some stores to heat the building as well. When it gets really cold, the system turns on the heat pump to heat up the building, and the same technology is applied for cooling it down in summer. Since it uses water for heating and cooling, there are several other ways to utilise it such as fan-coil heating and cooling, floor heating and cooling, the use of the air-handling unit to preheat or cool down the air and to generate running hot water as well.

With some stores the company uses a VRV (variable refrigerant volume) based cooling technology system which applies intelligence to operate the technology and comfort heating and cooling systems. Thanks to the integrated cooling technology system, as well as the improved feeling of comfort indoors, it also uses less energy. The VRV system uses the same waste heat, or if needed the heat pump for heating, but without the necessity to build a water circuit.

Thermal insulation and upgrades

The thermal insulation of the building and the fitting of new doors and windows is important as well. SPAR Hungary replaces outdated store portal fittings with new, good quality ones and if it is necessary, they install roof thermal insulation with waterproofing as well as the insulation of facade walls.

Solar panels and electric car charging stations

With every investment project, whether it is a new store or a renovation, the company examines the possibility of the use of solar panels by looking at the individual features of the location and the building to see if they could be used to supply that unit with electricity.

The company is constantly adding new electric car charging stations for the stores that have parking lots. So far, they have set up 168 spots all over the country. More information about SPAR’s electronic charging stations is available using the following link:

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