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  3. Our eco-friendly store

DIA CorporateOur eco-friendly store

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DIA’s eco-friendly stores are pioneering establishments in which the most innovative and cutting-edge systems on the marketplace are tested. Once these systems have been tested, proven to work and deliver the promised energy savings, they are deployed as standard systems in the rest of the company’s stores in Spain and other markets.

Thanks to the sustainability measures in place in every store, the company is achieving energy savings of up to 25% with respect to the old systems, which translates into around 20 fewer tonnes of carbon emissions per store. Moreover, most of these stores are fuelled with energy generated from renewable sources, further reducing the chain’s environmental footprint. The certification issued by Spain’s energy watchdog, the CNE, is displayed prominently at the entrance to each store with a view to raising awareness of customers and engaging them in the company’s environmental policies.

By designing and operating these eco-friendly stores, DIA has become one of the most energy-efficient companies in the retail sector. It continually reviews the latest and most innovative developments in the marketplace with a view to honing its responsible and sustainable business model.

General characteristics

All these stores are equipped with centralised heating and cooling air conditioning systems which act as the establishments’ hearts, pumping out the energy needed in a sustainable manner. These units use R134a, one of the most energy-efficient refrigerants in the market.

The key advantages of this system include:

  • Lower consumption of refrigerating power.
  • Reduced electricity costs as they work at a lower maximum intensity.
  • Lower environmental impact (the global warming potential, or GWP, of R134a is three times lower than that of R404A).
  • Low leakage rates.
  • A lower final compression temperature.
  • Lower pressure in the high and low voltage circuits (50% less than in the usual systems).
  • Fewer overpressure issues in circuits during the summer months or in very warm climates.

Next generation environmentally-friendly fixtures

Each establishment is equipped with next-generation, leading-brand refrigeration cabinets which result in lower energy usage relative to Dia’s competitors. Using a system known as floating condensation, which is fuelled from the centralised cooling unit, gas is transformed to liquid, considerably lowering the display units’ energy usage.

The cabinets also include a new range of fans which enable electricity consumption savings of around 5%.

The company’s deep freeze units, where frozen food is stored, are equipped with technology using variable-speed compressors and propane as a refrigerant, which delivers savings of 28% in power consumption relative to traditional fixed-speed compressor technology. Additionally, propane’s GWP is virtually negligible.

Sustainable lighting

These stores have automated lighting control systems that automatically switch outdoor lights, store lights and the bread oven on and off as a function of working hours, store opening hours and hours of sunlight, in the case of outdoor lighting.

The eco-friendly stores are lit differently during store opening hours and when shelf restocking duties are being carried out.

Store lighting uses LED tubes only. These energy-efficient bulbs use 50% less power than traditional lighting systems. As an illustration of the company’s sustainability pledge, note that last year DIA invested €10 million on installing LED tubes in its stores in Spain and Portugal.

In detail

Cooling system

It is equipped with an electronic system that allows refrigerant condensation temperature regulation, so that it can be adapted in response to the outside temperature, allowing a constant indoor-outdoor temperature differential to be maintained. As a result, the condensation temperature can be lowered when the outside temperature is low, thereby reducing heat waste.

The air-conditioning systems are designed so that in winter, instead of using a traditional condenser to cool the refrigerant and expel the hot air generated out onto the street, they use cassettes mounted on the store walls as condensers so that the heat generated in the condensation process can be recovered to warm the store, providing free heating up to a certain point of demand.

Freezers

These units are equipped with technology which, thanks to the use of variable-speed compressors and propane as a refrigerant, delivers savings of over 28% in power consumption relative to traditional fixed-speed compressor technology. The freezers also have a periodic defrosting mechanism that prevents the build-up of ice on the inside panels.

Refrigeration cabinets

All of the cabinets are automated, so that once the stores are closed, a curtain is drawn automatically to prevent unnecessary energy usage. A second curtain of air reduces the interchange of heat between the inside of the cabinet panels and the rest of the store, saving 5-7% in refrigeration power consumption.

The cabinets used to display meat and fish are equipped with glass doors that help to preserve these products better.

All these devices also come with a new range of highly-efficient fans which enable electricity consumption savings of around 5%.

LED lighting

This means tubular bulbs and spotlights equipped with LED technology that enable savings of 50% on lighting-related energy usage relative to conventional fluorescent TLD tubes, while providing the required intensity of lighting.

Another important feature of the company’s sustainable lighting policy relates to outdoor lighting: the posters on the store facades are powered from solar energy, providing another source of energy savings.

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