New design trials radical new format aimed at dramatically lowering Morrisons’ carbon footprint

Morrisons has opened a lower environmental impact store featuring a wide range of loose fruit and vegetables as well as locally sourced farm products.

The new store design in Little Clacton, which has been built from scratch, is said to incorporate the widest range of structural features and loose products to reduce carbon emissions, energy and resources.

Innovations include 366 loose products, a low-carbon-impact building, next-generation fridges powered by CO2 from agricultural waste, roof solar panels to provide a fifth of energy, rainwater harvesting for toilet flushing, a near zero waste back-of-house system, and facilities to recycle customers’ waste.

The range of loose products includes some 76 types of fruit and vegetables. 

The store will also stock a wide range of locally sourced products from local farmers, growers and foodmakers, sourced as part of Morrisons Nation’s Local Foodmakers programme, which searches for locally known and loved food and drinks. Over 250 local beers, spirits, fruits, vegetables, eggs, pies, breads, jams, teas, sauces, biscuits and crisps will be supplied from less than 35 miles away, against an average of 50 lines in Morrisons regular south-east stores. 

In addition to low-impact design and decreased packaging and waste, the store also offers a significant number of locally sourced products, a range of biodiversity schemes, more healthy and nutritious foods, and more support to the local community.

All of the store’s practical initiatives and designs have the genuine potential to be scaled up and introduced across the Morrisons store estate, the supermarket said.

The store will house Morrisons’ widest range of no-plastic products - priced the same or less than their standard equivalents - allowing customers to half the amount of plastic in their weekly shop, along with a range of local and eco product options.

Chief executive David Potts said: “This store is a significant step forward on our sustainability journey. It brings together all of the environmental and social initiatives we have created that can be rolled out into other stores across the country. It will start to inform the design of many more similar stores to come.”

Lower operational emissions

The Little Clacton store will have 43 per cent lower operational emissions than a standard store, Morrisons said. Carbon reduction is achieved through:

- No gas supply and instead only using electricity;

- Solar panels installed on the roof, providing nearly 20 per cent of its energy; 

- Air source heat pumps using waste heat from fridges to heat the store and its hot water;

- Next-generation fridges using CO2 from agricultural waste instead of harmful HFCs;

- ‘EcoBlades’ fitted to fridge shelves, to trap cold air inside and reduce energy use;

- Exclusive operation of electric delivery vehicles;

- 20 EV charging stations for customers along with dedicated EV stationsfor colleagues’ cars,with charging speeds from 15 minutes to eight hours.

‘Almost zero waste’

Morrisons’ Little Clacton store will be almost zero waste and the store will offer customers the ability to return their waste. It will offer a wide range of recycling points for soft plastics, batteries, ink cartridges, cartons, glass and textiles so customers can recycle their hard-to-recycle items. The store’s back-of-house will recycle all waste, so that nothing is sent to landfill. The Little Clacton store will also offer Too Good To Go ‘Magic Bags’, where customers can get £10 of fruit, veg, deli and bakery products for just £3.09 to prevent food waste.

In its environmental construction, Morrisons Little Clacton has recycled 99 per cent of the demolition materials from its old store in the new build, and reused and reduced steel to lower carbon emissions by 52 per cent, among other innovations.