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Tirlán unveils first low carbon store in Kilkenny with €11m sustainability initiative

Pictured: (LtoR) Tirlán customer Michael Owens with his children and Damien Sheehy of Tirlán

The pilot programme encompasses the installation of 108 solar panels and a 15kW battery storage system on the roof to provide more than 50% of the store's energy requirements



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7 December 2023

Tirlán has launched its first low carbon future store as part of its wider ‘Living Proof’ strategy to reduce emissions across its entire supply chain.

The Tirlán CountryLife store in Castlecomer, Co Kilkenny, is the first in a group of 52 local branches to use new technology. This is part of a larger €11 million investment to improve stores in 13 counties.

The pilot project involves installing 108 solar panels on the roof of the agribusiness and garden centre building, along with a 15kW battery storage system. This setup aims to meet over 50% of the store’s energy requirements.

Other pilot innovations include educational displays informing customers about energy savings, a shift from gas to Bio LPG and green electric for water and space heating, rainwater harvesting to cut mains water use, and the introduction of LED lighting throughout the building. The store’s forklift has been upgraded to a more eco-friendly electric model.

The Castlecomer store was chosen to lead the programme because it’s one of Tirlán’s busiest and most technologically advanced branches, equipped with a modern and sustainable electrical system. After the successful pilot, the low-carbon model will be implemented across Tirlán’s retail network.

John Murphy, chairperson, Tirlán, said: “Under ‘Living Proof’ Tirlán has committed to reducing the carbon footprint at our sites and reducing absolute carbon emissions through improved energy efficiency, technology developments and migration to further renewable energy sources.

“We’re particularly excited about sharing the information we will glean on savings made with our family farm suppliers, our customers and members of our communities in support of a greener energy transition. Our branches are a focal point for communities and we’re conscious of the importance of highlighting our actions to support sustainability to our customers and the younger generation. We acknowledge and appreciate the huge level of work across all our facilities and our farms as we all strive to reach our 2030 goals.”

Dr. Ailish Byrne, director of agribusiness, Tirlán, said:Tirlán and its family farm suppliers are acutely aware that there is no company whose business model will not be profoundly affected by climate change and the transition to a net zero economy by 2050.

“As a farmer-owned, community-centred co-operative, we’re serious about playing our part and showcasing best practice in this sector.”

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