Kinetic plates, installed in the car park of its new green store in Gloucester this week, capture energy when a vehicle passes over them. The cars push the plates down, which creates a rocking motion under the surface that turns the generators, producing energy. Sainsbury's expects to create 30kw of green energy an hour, enough to power the store’s checkouts.
Also at the Gloucester store, rainwater is harvested to flush toilets, solar panels heat the store’s water during summer, and lighting has been reduced because the store has been designed to let in as much natural light as possible.
“This is revolutionary,” said Sainsbury's environment manager Alison Austin. “Not only are we the first to use such cutting-edge technology, but customers can now help to make their local shop greener, without extra effort or cost."
Sainsbury's has also placed an order for 50 electric vehicles for its online home deliveries, making its fleet of electric delivery vans the largest in Britain.
“Showing respect for the environment is one of our key values,” said Jat Sahota, Sainsbury's head of corporate responsibility.