Retail group saves nearly 8 000 kℓ/y of water

MAKRO ALBERTON Massmart conserves water by capturing and reusing condensate from its carbon dioxide refrigeration plants at its new generation Makro stores

ALEXANDER HAW We have introduced rainwater harvesting initiatives at 75 standalone stores

29th May 2015

By: Pimani Baloyi

Creamer Media Writer


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South African retailer Massmart has saved about 7 750 kℓ/y of water since implementing its water efficiency strategy at ten Makro stores and 65 Builders Warehouse stores in 2014.

Massmart group sustainability manager Alexander Haw tells Engineering News that the strategy is part of the group’s three-focal-point environmental sustainability strategy, which also includes energy efficiency and waste management.

Through the strategy, the company is focused on minimising its environmental footprint by optimising operational energy efficiency, diverting waste from landfill and conserving water.

The water efficiency strategy has resulted in the implementation of condensate and rainwater harvesting programmes at some 75 standalone Massmart stores.

“Our focus is minimising standalone stores’ water consumption. “In our new-generation Makro stores, we conserve water by capturing and reusing condensate from our carbon dioxide refrigeration plants.

“The added advantage of this approach is that we are able to use some of the water we harvest to improve the efficiency of our refrigeration systems, which are designed to be highly efficient and low impact, making use of natural refrigerant gases that have low global warming potentials.”

Haw further notes that harvesting rainwater has enabled Massmart to rely less on municipal water. Harvested water is used to supplement the water requirements of the stores, where, for example, it is used to irrigate nurseries and gardens.

He adds that some stores that are situated in high rainfall areas have rainwater tanks that have never been empty, enabling the store to make use of harvested rainwater year-round.

Haw highlights that rainwater harvesting was initially implemented at selected Builders Warehouse stores in 2010, and has now been expanded to include 35 Builders Express and Builders Trade Depot stores.

“Our priority now is to more accurately quantify our water consumption and water savings through the installation of independent water meters. “With this in mind, we have initiated the installation of independent meters at selected Cambridge, Makro and Builders Warehouse stores. “These meters will provide more accurate, real-time water consumption monitoring,” he says.

Other water-saving initiatives include using dual-flushing systems – which enable water conservation – in bathrooms, low-flow taps and harvested rainwater in truck wash bays at Game Riverhorse and Builders Warehouse Midrand distribution centres.

“As a result of these initiatives, we recently recorded a water consumption level drop-off of about 0.59 kℓ per store per year, which is quite lean, compared with the levels of some of our competitors,” Haw elaborates.

Meanwhile, Massmart’s energy efficiency initiative has led to the installation of light-emitting diode lights and daylight-harvesting in the group’s new Builders Warehouse and Makro stores.

The waste management initiative has resulted in the introduction, in partnership with electronics manufacturer Samsung Electronics, of a postconsumer ewaste take-back programme, at Makro, which saw the collection of more than 130 t of postconsumer ewaste in 2014.

Edited by Leandi Kolver
Creamer Media Deputy Editor



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