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Earth Day: Five Solutions To Protect the Environment and Optimize Retail Operations

Today is Earth Day. What are you doing to help protect the environment?

Green City silhouette with environmental icons

Every day, food retailers face various business challenges: maintaining system uptime, keeping food fresh and safe, reducing energy consumption and staying current on changing regulations, just to name a few. On Earth Day, we’re sharing our insights around five solutions for retailers to make a positive impact on the environment and to optimize facility operations:

  1. Leverage remote monitoring for increased energy savings

Retailers can see benefits storewide by using facility management systems that combine energy management with the ability to monitor various facility systems and provide alerts when issues need attention. Remote monitoring services assess, triage and resolve alarms around the clock. With real-time performance data on energy expenditure, maintenance costs, refrigerant leaks and shrink causes, retailers can make informed decisions for operational improvements.

Monitoring and reporting energy consumption allows the retailer to take action to reduce the energy demand during peak periods. This will have a direct impact on utility bills by reducing total energy costs.

  1. Use setpoint management to protect energy gains

Energy use is one of the most significant operating costs for supermarkets today. Setpoints for HVAC, refrigeration and lighting systems drive most of the store’s energy use.

Setpoint management service helps retailers sustain energy savings in the long term while ensuring that operational issues are actually fixed rather than masked. With setpoint management, retailers can establish optimized benchmarks through e-commissioning or corporate standards for their facility systems.  If changes occur, setpoints can be resolved quickly. Through real-time reporting, data on these setpoints provides retailers with actionable insights to make operational decisions for optimizing energy efficiency, reducing costs and, ultimately, providing a comfortable, positive shopping experience for their customers.

  1. Avoid refrigerant leaks through detection strategies

As some refrigerants commonly used by retailers today are greenhouse gases, and some are ozone-depleting substances, leaks can have a significant impact on the environment. In addition, the renewed regulatory focus on reducing refrigerant leaks leads to a need for retailers to take a closer look at developing effective leak detection strategies.

Retail facilities that implement refrigerant leak detection programs will ultimately reduce refrigerant consumption, avoid costly EPA examinations, prevent potential service disruptions when fixing a leak and take steps to help protect the environment. Retailers should aim to not only establish proper leak detection response protocols, but also institute measures to minimize or eliminate leaks altogether.

  1. Reduce global food waste locally with effective temperature management

Consumers today are increasingly conscious of where their food is coming from and expectations are high when it comes to freshness. Preventing food loss and protecting customers from food-borne illnesses are critical concerns for operators. Retailers need to accurately monitor and report product and case temperatures. Relying on manual temperature recording and tracking methods is risky and time consuming.

Monitoring services provide retailers with the visibility and control of system temperatures throughout their entire enterprise. Customized reports allow retailers to manage alarms and monitor food quality. Approximately $990 billion of food is wasted globally each year. Effective temperature management through facility management systems and remote monitoring along the journey “from farm to fork” will help to reduce food waste, as well as keep customers happy by offering fresh foods.

  1. Promote your sustainability efforts

Today’s consumers want to be associated with brands that not only deliver quality products and experiences, but are also taking steps to positively impact the world. Leading supermarkets and convenience stores are investing in facility management systems and monitoring services that affect store operations, impact bottom line and protect the environment.

Consider promoting your sustainability practices to shed light on the benefits of these investments among both internal and external audiences. An innovative supermarket customer is putting this into action by highlighting sustainability achievements through electronic signage in employee break rooms and recognition of store-level staff. To reinforce their “good neighbor” story among customers, this grocery brand is positioning displays of sustainability reporting, with information from their facility management systems, in entrance areas of more than 900 stores.

What steps is your retail business taking to help protect the environment? Leave your Earth Day tips in the comments below or share them with us on Twitter at @EmersonClimate and @IntelliStore.

For more than 20 years, Emerson Retail Solutions has been helping businesses like yours safeguard food, reduce energy consumption, protect the environment and optimize business results. To learn more about our technology solutions and services for retailers, visit our website


Dean Landeche
Vice President of Marketing, Retail Solutions
Emerson Climate Technologies

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