"Switching" to Sustainability

09 September 2022

At SPAR we believe in powerful thinking. We believe in innovating, in finding solutions and in doing the best we can for everyone in every capacity possible. This is why we have invested in power itself.

With the ever increasing strain on our South African power grid, as well as with the global shift in focus toward renewable energy sources and the championing of more sustainable behaviours, we decided to move our KZN DC away from its sole reliance on Eskom for electricity. We now use a combination of energy saving initiatives, which we hope have gone some way in freeing up energy for homes and residences out there, who have not been able to make the shift to solar themselves yet.

We are really proud of the steps we have taken in this area, doing our part to ‘lighten’ the load as it were.


Did you know for instance that our installation of solar panels at both our Perishables and Dry Goods Warehouses have resulted in an 80% reduction in energy usage from Eskom? That’s right, we happily harvest sunshine to power everything all day, from computers to refrigerators, but that is not all. We have also invested in LED lights throughout both DC’s for a further energy consumption reduction and in our Perishables DC these LED’s are linked to an intelligence lighting system. This system, which can be monitored and activated remotely, senses movement in our aisles and adjusts the brightness of the light levels accordingly. If no movement is detected the lights go off completely. Little movement and the lights become dimmer. Lots of movement and they are fully activated. This oscillation has resulted in a 60% energy reduction.

This means that we have invested in not one, but three energy saving initiatives. Namely, solar for day use, LED lighting, and an intelligence light management system for day and night. Our plan is to commission the implementation of the intelligence system in our dry goods warehouse soon too, but with the higher energy demands of the perishables warehouse, which included the need to power fridges that reach a lovely balmy (we mean freezing) -18 degrees, the need was simply greater there.

So, here’s a recap on our powerful thinking:
 - 20% of the light energy that strikes our solar panels is converted into electricity.
 - 80% reduction on grid electricity usage.
 - 60% energy reduction through LED and Awanda Intelligence System.


For 1 kWh of energy, Eskom claims you can make 24 slices of toast or vacuum 8 rooms. For what it's worth, one solar panel on your home produces about 1.5 kWh of energy a day, so 36 slices of toast. Enjoy.