As part of a new commitment to be carbon neutral, supermarket chain Lidl commits to installing solar panels on all new stores in Great Britain by 2022. 

This aligns with wider commitments made by the Schwarz Group, who has promised to reduce its CO2 emissions, as well as work cooperatively with providers in order to start their own climate targets and strategic plans by 2026.

“With the UK hosting COP26 in November, this is a crucial year in the fight against climate change and we recognise our responsibility to reduce our emissions to help tackle this important issue,” said Christian Härtnagel, CEO at Lidl GB.

Lidl is also pledging to cut its operational emissions 80% by 2030, in comparison to 2019 levels across all the countries they operate in.

Along with energy efficiency measures, the solar panels will be installed – where permissible – on all new stores in Great Britain. Lidl has also committed to install more than 350 electric vehicle charging points for their stores by 2022. This is a significant increase on the 100 charging ports currently in operation today.

“As a discounter, it is ingrained in us to be constantly looking to maximise efficiency and reduce waste. Whether it’s how we heat and light our stores, or how we transport food from our suppliers to our warehouses, we are continuing to find ways to cut emissions across our business.”

Lidl made headlines in March 2020, after seeing business rates soar by 528% due to changes in the valuation of solar installations at its seven sites with panels at the time.

In order to help decarbonise operations other supermarkets in the UK have committed to switching to solar panels too.  This includes Tesco, who announced a major electricity project back in 2019 – including covering 335,000m2 in solar panels in 187 of its stores.  

Aldi, another discount competitor, has now more than 96 thousand panels installed in its stores. However, the pioneer to convert to solar was Sainsbury’s, back in 2012, becoming the largest operator of rooftop-mounted solar PV across the UK back in 2012, after installing 16MW of capacity on 169 of its stores.  

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