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Retailer to install heat pumps in €336m energy-saving pledge

DENMARK: The Salling Group, Denmark’s largest retailer and owner of Netto stores, is to invest DKK2.5bn (€336m) over the next three years in a number of energy saving measures.  

The Salling Group says it will remove gas boilers from 750 stores across its Bilka and føtex stores in Denmark and its Netto stores in Denmark, Germany and Poland and replace them with electric heat pumps.

At the same time, the group is setting up solar cells on the roofs of a total of 570 føtex, Bilka and Netto stores as well as integration of solar cells on all future construction; new shops, warehouses, and office buildings.

In addition, doors will be installed on existing refrigerator and freezer cabinets in all Netto’s stores in all three countries – a process that is almost completed across its Danish føtex and Bilka stores. Older refrigeration and freezer cabinets are being replaced in 725 stores by modern and more energy-efficient models.

The  Salling Group says the investment is a direct extension of its climate ambition, but is now happening as a result of rising energy prices and a desire for independence from Russian gas.

“As part of our climate ambition, we have had a clear plan for reducing our energy consumption across the group and the three markets in which we operate. Now the current energy situation with rising prices and dependence on Russia puts further pressure on the need for change, and that is why we have chosen to accelerate investments,” said Salling Group CEO Per Bank.

“Denmark is well on its way to a greener electricity grid, but our climate headache has always been the energy we have bought in Germany and Poland. With the reductions we are planning here, and not least the installation of solar panels for our own production of green energy, we are now taking a big step towards a fossil-free grocery trade,” Per Bank added.

The work will start immediately. The replacement of gas boilers in Denmark and Poland is expected to be completed next year, while Germany will follow in 2024. Solar cells on existing Bilka buildings are expected to be completed in 2023, followed by føtex and all Salling Group’s central warehouses in all three markets in 2025, and on Netto stores in 2028. The replacement of refrigerators and freezers will take place across all three countries until 2026. 

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