Heart of England Co-operative Society is to convert two of its shops into 'eco-stores'.

The society is ploughing £1.2m into developing the two sites - in Barwell, Leicestershire, and Coundon, Coventry - to include a number of green initiatives.

Energy-efficient refrigeration systems that have been built locally to reduce transportation, support local industry and reduce carbon emissions will be installed at the stores. A new type of lighting that will slash energy consumption and eliminate the need for strip-lighting will also be fitted.

A wider range of fresh foods will also be introduced. The move is part of an ongoing £5m refurbishment.