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Steady, strategic progress key to Loblaw energy management success

Photo of Mohamed K. Farag, Energy Manager of B.C. Loblaw

Between all of its grocery-related locations, Shoppers Drug Marts, and Joe Fresh stores, the Loblaw umbrella of companies encompasses more than 2,400 sites in Canada. Mohamed K. Farag says strategic energy management – where energy conservation is embedded at a foundational value in an organization – is essential.

"We're always walking that fine line between customer convenience and energy conservation," explains the B.C. energy manager for Loblaw. "Our team is very lucky that sustainability is a core value – it gives us an advantage in internal conversations!"

Still, the energy team is cognizant of the need to coordinate work in order to minimize impact. Work – such as optimizing, upgrading, or replacing heavy equipment like boilers and compressors – is scheduled for night hours, or slotted into time periods where renovations would already be taking place.

A significant focus this year is retrofitting Shoppers Drug Mart locations with energy-saving options. That could include upgrading to light-emitting diode (LED) lights, implementing computerized temperature control systems, or installing doors on refrigerator and freezer cases. Many Loblaw grocery stores already have closed freezer cases; in addition to saving energy, the quality of the product is maintained more consistently by adding the doors.

Energy efficiency pays off in ways that aren't necessarily always directly visible to customers. For instance, LEDs emit better quality light, which makes it easier to discern true colours; this is helpful when choosing produce. Temperature regulation evens out cold and hot spots, so that customers aren't shivering or roasting the way they might have in years past.

"We are grateful for all of the help I get from BC Hydro to make all of these projects happen, from answers about new technology, to training about best practices. Our employees in B.C. are very environmentally savvy, and our leadership is very clear about how important sustainability is. I think our customers appreciate what we’re trying to accomplish."

– Mohamed K. Farag, Loblaw, Energy manager B.C.

Learn more about the many ways integrating strategic energy management could benefit your business.