'Carbon Academy' to train 20,000 people by 2020
Sainsbury's is to launch a new initiative that will help revolutionise the way in which the company manages its carbon footprint. The Sainsbury's Carbon Academy will provide environmental training to 20,000 people by 2020.
The Academy, which was launched this week, aims to highlight the importance of carbon-awareness, while also improving the skills and knowledge base among Sainsbury's contractors, suppliers and colleagues.
Sainsbury's property director, Neil Sachdev, said: "We see this very much as a revolution in the way we manage our environmental impact. In order to fight carbon effectively, we need to ensure that everyone who comes into contact with our business has the knowledge and skills necessary to help reduce Sainsbury's carbon footprint.
"Through a wide-ranging programme, we will aim to provide awareness and technical training to 20,000 people by 2020. We want all of our colleagues and contractors to become industry leaders in carbon reduction and this academy will help us to make this aspiration a reality."
Sainsbury's has long been a supporter of green technologies and skills. This is best exemplified in the work it has done to introduce CO2 refrigeration.
Neil continues: "We committed to environmentally responsible CO2 refrigeration in 2009, despite the lack of UK-based CO2 engineers. Since then we have invested in providing our existing refrigeration contractors with the skills needed to help us grow this green technology.
"Initiatives such as this will become part of our Carbon Academy as we aim to use our business as a test bed through which to take fledgling environmental technologies into the mainstream, ensuring businesses can continue to grow sustainably over the coming years."
Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: "Leading the way in the low carbon race will depend in part on the skills, enthusiasm and experience of our workforce.
"It is great that Sainsbury's has stepped up to the challenge with the launch of its Carbon Academy, helping workers get the latest green information and low carbon training. This is just the sort of initiative we need to help secure our future green economy and I would like to wish Sainsbury's every success."
Skills learned at the Carbon Academy will be wide-ranging, from understanding how small changes in every day working practices can reduce carbon impact, to highly-specialist skill acquisition such as the CO2 refrigeration project.
The Academy will pull together all of the work Sainsbury's is already doing in the field of environmental training including the Reset scheme, which sees store managers and their department heads trained to manage their stores' energy usage more effectively. Stores that have been through the Reset process have seen an average reduction in energy usage of 17 per cent.
The launch of the Sainsbury's Carbon Academy was announced at an event held at Sainsbury's Store Support Centre on May 16th. The event included a panel debate at which the subject of how to grow businesses while reducing carbon output was discussed. The panel consisted of Sainsbury's chief executive Justin King, director of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial College London, Professor Sir Brian Hoskins, Minister of State for Climate Change Greg Barker MP and chief executive of WWF-UK David Nussbaum.
The event marked one year of Sainsbury's partnership with Imperial College London's Faculty of Engineering and Grantham Institute for Climate Change. The partnership was created to develop technologies and solutions that will help Sainsbury's lower its carbon footprint to help it meet with future climate change legislation, and continue to be the UK's greenest grocer.
Technology used in Sainsbury's Smart Grid store in Hythe was the first major output of the partnership. A unique energy management system monitors the National Grid and activates the store's bio fuel generator when there is an increased demand for electricity. As a result, reserve power stations do not have to be used as much and the UK's carbon footprint is reduced.