|Tesco Lotus Salaya|
Tesco Lotus is preparing to open its first zero-carbon retail store in Southeast Asia in November.
The store featuring breakthroughs in energy saving will be developed under the Talad Lotus format and is scheduled to open in Bang Phra, Chon Buri. It is expected to cost about one billion baht, compared with between 200 million and 300 million for a conventional Talad Lotus. Most of the additional cost represents energy saving equipment.
Features of the new outlet will include a solar farm on the roof to produce energy to offset the carbon emissions generated by the store. Other projects would produce energy equivalent to the total carbon emissions from the store. "This is the latest move by Tesco in going green in line with the parent firm in the UK, which plans a cumulative reduction of carbon emissions by 50% by 2020," said Saofang Ekaluckrujee, senior corporate affairs manager of Ex-Chai Distribution System Co, the operator of Tesco Lotus in Thailand.
Apart from installing technology to reduce energy, the company also is negotiating with suppliers and tenants to sell more green products at the store and in shops in the plaza.
The company plans to increase the number of green products available at its stores to 300 items this year, up from 197 last year. These items will include products sold under its house brand and the products of suppliers. As well, it will ask for cooperation from suppliers to implement greener transport and delivery systems.
The popularity of green products has been increasing steadily, spurred by offers of additional loyalty points to customers who purchase green products at Tesco Lotus stores. The most popular green item is energy-saving lightbulbs.
Additionally, the company plans to send its technical team to help farmers who supply produce to develop products that are chemical-free and at lower cost.
"We want to up lift farmers' incomes and standard of living," said Ms Saofang.
She said the move toward green was part of Tesco's corporate social responsibility activities this year. The company has increased its CSR budget by 20% this year to 150 million baht.