By Aimee Chanthadavong

Inditex Group has opened its 5,000th store in Rome by unveiling its most eco-efficient Zara store.

Housed in a 120 year old building, the Zara store reflects the company’s 2011-2015 Sustainable Inditex Plan, which was announced at its most recent annual general meeting.

“Environmental issues are a key component of Inditex's global strategy,” Pablo Isla, Inditex deputy chairman and CEO, said.

“This project marks a turning point in how we think of retail space.”

According to Inditex, the renovation was geared towards achieving a a platinum rating, the highest score awarded under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) sustainable scoring system.

The sustainability and energy efficiency measures implemented in the new store include automatic monitoring of the store’s indoor air quality, motion detectors to turn lights on and off in low-traffic areas and an air curtain system at entrance doors to monitor outside temperatures to prevent abrupt indoor air temperature changes.

The store is expected to consume 30 per cent less energy than the annual average at a conventional store, use 70 per cent less water and avoid producing more than 200 tones of carbon emissions per year.

An Inditex spokesperson has confirmed that it is committed to extending its eco-efficient pattern to all new stores, including two Australian Zara stores expected to open this first half of the year in Sydney and Melbourne.