Wednesday 21 May 2008: Safeway opens the doors to its new store in Melbourne’s growing Docklands precinct – a store designed to have a high impact on customers but a lower impact on the environment.

Safeway’s first ‘green store’, opened to customers on Thursday 22 May. The Hon. Gavin Jennings MLC, Minister for the Environment and Climate Change will tour the store with industry representatives at a gala opening on Wednesday afternoon.

The supermarket is part of Safeway’s ongoing commitment to incorporate sustainability principles into all aspects of its business and will serve as a blueprint for future Safeway and Woolworths developments.

Michael Luscombe, CEO of Woolworths Limited which owns Safeway, said: “Woolworths and Safeway are continually looking for innovative and practical ways to reduce our environmental footprint. Our new Victoria Harbour store shows that sustainable development in action.

“Don’t expect to see grass on the roof or wind turbines at this supermarket,” continued Luscombe. ”The environmental innovations are more than just skin deep and tackle the main contributors to carbon emissions in store – air conditioning and refrigeration.”

The store uses a cascade refrigeration system that replaces conventional refrigerants and produces around 25 percent less greenhouse gas emissions. “The refrigeration cases also include high-efficiency fans and low-heat glass doors and LED lighting removing the need for the fridge to cool even further.”

“Automatic night blinds are included in to the design of the upright refrigeration cases, reducing carbon dioxide emissions from the store by up to 100 tonnes per year. 

“Additionally, waste heat from refrigeration compressors is used to heat air in the airconditioning system and the store also takes advantage of fresh outside air,” Mr Luscombe said.

Customers will also notice something almost unique in a supermarket – windows around the deli counter. These let the Melbourne sunshine flood into the deli area reducing the need for artificial lighting. Where lighting is required, the store uses T5 fluorescent technology which uses less than 30 percent of the energy of standard lighting.

Other initiatives to cut the store’s environmental impact include reducing water usage and waste creation. Mr Luscombe said all Woolworths and Safeway supermarkets built from the end of the year onwards will be green stores incorporating the features of Victoria Harbour.