Co-op Group pulls the plug on incandescent bulbs

The Co-Operative Group, a UK supermarket chain, plans to sell more CFLs and stop selling tungsten filament lightbulbs.

The Co-operative Group, a leading UK-based retailer, has announced that it will become the first supermarket to pull the plug on inefficient light bulbs, as well as pledging to sell domestic kitchen appliances with the highest possible energy ratings.

In the run up to summer 2007, the Group will overhaul its offering of energy-efficient compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), providing a much broader range, a reduced price differential and enhanced customer awareness campaign.

In the autumn, the Group will then move to stop selling traditional tungsten filament light bulbs at 50 pilot stores with a view to removing them from all stores at a later date, and subject to availability.

At the same time the Group has set itself the ambitious target of reducing the energy consumption at its own premises by 25 per cent within the next five years. Taken together with its previous support for renewable energy generation, these new measures re-affirm its position as the UK’s leading retailer on climate change.

Martin Beaumont, Chief Executive of the Co-operative Group said: "In many instances, we have been able to progress energy efficiency initiatives at competitive prices. Where this hasn’t proven possible, and the initial outlay is greater we are satisfied that the longer term benefits more than make up for this."

"For example, energy saving light bulbs use 75 per cent less energy, last up to 12 times longer and can reduce electricity bills by £9 per bulb per year or £100 over the bulb’s lifetime. "

Welcoming the move, Laura Yates, climate and energy campaigner at Greenpeace said: "This shows that meaningful action on climate change can be taken by retailers without waiting for government. While we strongly welcome moves to remove incandescent light bulbs from shelves, we hope that this can be achieved across all stores without delay."

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