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10 December 2009

NTUC FairPrice launches Singapore’s First Eco-Friendly supermarket

- Pilot eco-friendly supermarket based on principles of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

- Eco-friendly features includes green store design, green technology and green products and services

Singapore’s leading supermarket retailer, NTUC FairPrice, has stepped up its commitment to environmentally friendly practices by launching Singapore’s first eco-friendly supermarket at City Square Mall.

Designed with the basic principle of reduce, reuse and recycle in mind, this pilot eco-friendly FairPrice supermarket, measuring about 2,244 square metres, is a showcase of the latest eco-friendly solutions in grocery retailing. These include usage of recycled and biodegradable materials for store fixtures, energy-saving equipment and lighting, green products and services, as well as cutting edge “Green Technology”.

Mr Gerry Lee, Deputy Managing Director for Group Business and Chairman of the Green Committee, NTUC FairPrice, said: “As a socially responsible retailer and an industry leader, NTUC FairPrice recognises the importance of environmental advocacy and is passionate about doing our part to promote environmental awareness through our stores. This pilot eco-friendly supermarket complements our existing green initiatives and lets us promote a greener shopping environment in partnership with Singapore’s first eco-mall, City Square Mall.”

To highlight the various green characteristics, an “eco-trail” has been set up comprising a series of information panels displayed throughout the store, to help shoppers better understand the benefits of the different eco-friendly features.

Commenting on the eco-trail, Mr Lee added, “The purpose of the ‘eco-trail’ is to spur shoppers into being more environmentally aware through our example, and to take positive steps towards eventually protecting the environment in their own way.”

Eco-friendly Store Design Saves 30 Per Cent Energy

Energy-saving features like LED lighting, T5 (28 watts) fluorescent tubes, energy saving refrigeration units, and motion sensor lighting control in office and staff areas help to reduce the energy consumption of FairPrice’s eco-friendly store by about 30 per cent, compared to using standard equipment and fittings.

Other green touches include the use of non-toxic, environment friendly paint for walls and columns, ceiling boards and seats made from recycled materials like compressed board and mineral wood, and the use of wooden pallets made from recycled wood waste. Fixtures from other stores have also been reused and integrated into the overall design of the NTUC FairPrice City Square Mall branch.

Green Products and Services

The eco-friendly supermarket will also use 100% biodegradable shopping bags – environmentally-friendly alternatives to the usual plastic bags, that are made from 40 per cent corn and yam starch, and 60 per cent polypropylene.

Apart from this, customers who bring their own reusable grocery bags not only get to utilise dedicated check-out lanes but also enjoy rebates through our ongoing Green Rewards programme. Since this programme was introduced in 2007, FairPrice has saved more than 43 million plastic bags and given out more than $500,000 in rebates to customers.

The store also carries over 400 biodegradable and environmentally-friendly product varieties. The Envizyme range of household cleaners, for example, is made from biodegradable resources and renewable raw materials. There is also a ‘store within a store’ retail concept where a section is dedicated to the Philips’ range of energy efficient bulbs.

Another added service shoppers will be pleased to have is the HP Photosmart Minilab printer which not only produces fast and long-lasting photos, but is also friendly on the environment. The system does away with traditional silver halide systems and eliminates the need for operators to handle potentially hazardous chemicals by offering a closed and self-contained system.

Green Technology

In addition, the supermarket will feature cutting edge green technology such as an organic waste disposal system, called the BioHelper, to biologically convert solid food waste materials into liquid form that can be disposed of conveniently and safely.

A reverse vending machine that compacts and collects used cans and plastic bottles is also available and has become widely popular with shoppers. As many as 500 cans and plastic bottles have been recycled with the reverse vending machine in a day.

FairPrice Green Lifestyle Campaign

The eco-friendly supermarket at City Square Mall is the latest in a series of green initiatives. This year, FairPrice launched the FairPrice Green Lifestyle Campaign in June as part of FairPrice’s long-term goals of protecting and conserving the environment and bringing together the community it serves. It aims to heighten awareness of green issues and will focus on the three main pillars of staff, customers and community in order to engage these stakeholders and create a bigger impact towards environmental sustainability.  

From July to October this year, store managers were challenged to lead by example and reduce at least 10 percent of energy consumption at home over a 4-month period under the Green Lifestyle Campaign as well. The winner of the “10-percent challenge” managed to save more than 40 percent of his normal household energy usage.  

Mr Ho Chow Pheng, Branch Manager for the Jurong East NTUC FairPrice branch said, “We all have a part to play in saving the environment. This exercise shows that a little effort can go a long way in conserving energy and the best part is that we also save money in the process.”

The “Change a Bulb” programme in August this year, part of FairPrice Green Lifestyle Campaign, reached out to 400 needy households by installing free Philips energy saving light bulbs at their residence.

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