Makro has 22 warehouse stores in South Africa trading in food, general merchandise and liquor. Each new store is more efficient than the last. Our store in Kwa-Zulu Natal, Makro Amanzimtoti, has been specifically designed to use less water and electricity in its operations and to incorporate space for indigenous plants.
Makro has also expanded its store footprint by implementing new stores across the country and redeveloping existing stores. Although that we will still be expanding our store footprint, the aim for the next five years is to establish ourselves in the areas that we are in through price leadership and service innovation.
Because some Makro stores are within residential areas, the development teams ensure that each new store blends in naturally with the surrounding area. “Every fourth parking bay will have a tree,” says Doug Jones, Makro’s MD. Trees offer shade for shoppers in summer and help prevent heat build-up commonly found in paved areas.
Reducing electricity consumption
Makro uses compact fluorescent light (CFL), which draw less current than traditional bulbs. Further to that, CFL bulbs don’t get hot, which means store lighting does not put pressure on the air-conditioning system. Through cooling the store, the electrical requirement for the air-conditioning of the store is reduced by under-sizing the chillers and adding a thermal storage system to assist during peak demand.
Makro uses a lighting controller that was especially developed to switch off lighting in sequence and switch on the store lights in sequence just before trading. This reduces the electricity consumption and start-up current. Makro SA scooped a prestigious eta Award for its energy efficient new generation stores at Eskom’s 24th eta Awards ceremony.
Water is a scarce commodity that is finite in nature. South Africa’s water sector is faced with many challenges, among these are ageing infrastructure, drought conditions in some parts of the country, water losses, illegal water use and pollution.
Makro’s “new generation” stores (i.e. those built after 2009) incorporate advanced technologies to improve the stores overall resource efficiency including and boasts some of the most energy efficient refrigeration and climate control systems currently in use in retail. The refrigeration plants installed in new stores such as Makro Vaal, Polokwane, Montague Gardens, Cape Gate, Alberton and Amanzimtoti are 18% more energy efficient than those running in legacy Makro stores and 35% more efficient than the systems traditionally found in the market.
Fundamental to the energy efficiency of the refrigeration systems in new Makro stores is the use of harvested condensate to improve the refrigeration plants Coefficient of Performance (COP). When ambient temperatures exceed 27°C, the efficacy with which the refrigeration plant cools the air entering the building drops significantly. However, by using harvested condensate to increase the humidity of the air entering the refrigeration plant on hot days, Makro can improve the refrigeration plants COP by approximately 60%, significantly reducing the stores overall energy consumption.
According to the Packaging Council of South Africa (PACSA), South Africans generate about 520 million tons of solid waste every year. 95% of this waste is deposited on land, either in open trenches or in one of 1200 landfill sites across the country (Massmart Annual Report 2011). Makro stocks M Green, an in-house range of recycled paper goods (cutlery, cups, serviettes and more) that is the ultimate in greener alternatives and endorsed by Ecowise.