Shoppers at the Grand Square Ikeja outlet might not have noticed the solar panels sitting above the entire roof of the store, as the retailer has powered this facility using solar-energy since October 2021. The leading specialty wholesaler and retailer, as well as multi-category supermarket, makes this announcement as it celebrates 35 years of business operations in Nigeria.
Arguably one of the firsts to do this in Nigeria, the Ikeja store, located along Mobolaji Johnson avenue, is Grand Square’s testing ground for the company’s vision on a more sustainable approach to powering retail service delivery in Nigeria.
According to the management of Grand Square, the decision to pivot to a renewable energy source is in line with the global response to reduce carbon emissions and conduct business with a certain consciousness of carbon footprint and environmental impact.
“We prioritize the wellbeing of our customers and environmental sustainability is one of the ways we can truly express our commitment. This solar energy installation in our Ikeja store is but the first of many moves and initiatives we will be deploying to ensure we reduce our carbon emission, as well as do all we can to conserve our environment,” they said.
The solar installation at the store, which was done by Daystar Power Energy Solutions, is able to generate over 600KwH of power, which is sufficient to power the entire facility. The unstable power supply in Nigeria forces businesses to rely on diesel powered generators to power their entire operations, but this releases so much carbon emission that is not sustainable and harmful to the environment. With this move, Grand Square is able to continuously lower their carbon emissions in an environmentally friendly way.
Grand Square’s Ikeja store, with retail floor space of around 6,500 m2, started this transition last year, and its main priority was to achieve a lasting reduction in the building’s energy consumption and CO2 emissions. In future, the store hopes to be able to achieve this for its other locations, as well as pursue other carbon emission reduction endeavours across its business operations.
This move also puts Grand Square way ahead of its peers and industry practice, and while there may not be any current legislation in Nigeria addressing carbon emissions for non-industrial business organizations, Grand Square is spearheading a move that is essential and beneficial.
“We personally believe that all retailers should already be mapping out their path to cutting back on their carbon emissions. Surely, some companies are better placed to make the transition than others, like e-Commerce businesses or online stores, but physical locations like ours also have to put in the work to deploy sustainable patterns for effectively serving our customers.”
The management of Grand Square have also revealed plans of working with relevant bodies and agencies to incorporate recycling into its efforts to reduce carbon emission for the store.
While the process can be costly and requires specific technical competencies, there is a growing switch towards more environmentally friendly retail operations and stores. Reports already show that customers and consumers are more inclined to align with businesses that show commitment to improve the environmental performance of their stores.