Introducing 'Our Co-op'
After two years of development and collaboration with members, customers and colleagues, this year we launched our new business plan – 'Our Co-op'.
Our co-op has flourished in our region for over 150 years and here we are, still standing strong, serving our members, customers and communities. We truly have a heritage to be proud of, but we've never rested on our laurels. We've continued to move and adapt with the times, to stay strong and relevant.
We have a spirit of resilience and continued improvement and it's this that sits at the heart of our new 'Our Co-op' plan. It binds our history, our present and our future together and is all about growth, progress and striving to be the very best we can be.
'Our Co-op' identifies our strengths and the many opportunities that lie ahead. It recognises the ambitions that drive us and is true to our principles.
The 'Our Co-op' plan champions our independent co-op as a better kind of business. It recognises our achievements to date and builds on them, setting an ambitious vision to be the most valued organisation in the East of England.
The plan will guide every decision we make in the days, weeks and months ahead and is reflected in the way in which our annual report is structured.
The sections of this year's report reflect our five 'Our Co-op' strategies. click on a strategy to learn more:
Defining our values
Building on the founding co-operative values, we've defined four new values that underpin Our Co-op. Over time, our Objectives will evolve, and our Strategies will develop, but our Values will remain unchanged.
We began sharing our Our Co-op plan with over 425 managers in May. We also took the opportunity to reach out to our colleagues to ask them to volunteer as an 'Our Co-op Ambassador'.
During the summer our Ambassadors attended training sessions, preparing them to deliver face-to-face workshops to all our colleagues, introducing them to Our Co-op and in particular our Values. Throughout September, October and November, our Our Co-op Ambassadors led 173 workshops across nine venues.
At these workshops we encouraged colleagues to share their thoughts, feelings, ideas and opinions, to help us create an Unstoppable team that's Stronger Together. The response generated was phenomenal, with over 10,000 pieces of feedback gathered. These workshops have without doubt been one of the most successful internal events we've ever undertaken as a business and have been pivotal to the successful launch of Our Co-op.
Governing the East of England Co-op
The Board of Directors is responsible for determining the objectives, strategy and policy of our co-op in conjunction with the collegiate Leadership team, who are collectively responsible for the day-to-day management of the East of England Co-op.
Advice on governance matters is provided in the first instance by the Secretary, with further professional support available from Co-operatives UK and external lawyers as appropriate.
During the year covered by this report, your Directors met formally 12 times to consider items of policy and strategy and all matters reserved from the Board.
The Leadership team
Day-to-day management of our co-op is delegated by the Directors to the collegiate Leadership team, which is responsible for implementing our strategy within the framework laid down by the Board. The Leadership team also provides advice and guidance on strategic and commercial matters helping the Directors to perform their strategic role.
Leadership team as of 22nd January 2022
- Doug Field, Joint Chief Executive – Finance, Technology & HR
- Niall O'Keeffe, Joint Chief Executive – Membership & Marketing
- Nick Denny, Joint Chief Executive – Property
- Roger Grosvenor, Joint Chief Executive – Retail
- Jonathan Carey - Society Secretary
Board of Directors
In 2021, 10 candidates stood for election to fill four vacancies on the Board of Directors at the Annual Members' Meeting (AMM). At the AMM in May 2021, John Cook and Judi Newman were re-elected to the Board and Joy Burnford and Esme Cole were each elected for their first term in office.
Directors as of 22nd January 2022
Growing and evolving our business
Our Joint Chief Executive, Doug Field and Head of Finance and Data Analytics, Lyndsie Goodwin, presented this year's Financial Review in full at our Annual Members' Meeting on Thursday 19 May 2022.
Click 'Next' for an overview of our results and to learn more about some of the investments we've made this year.
After a challenging year, we generated an underlying trading profit of £1.5m. This is lower than we expected which is disappointing and resulted in part from supply chain challenges in the second half of the year within our Food business.
More positively, we ended the financial year with a profit before tax of £7.6m, compared with a loss before tax of £1.7m in the prior year. The previous loss came from several one-off costs and a reduction in the value of our investment property portfolio. This year, the value of our investment property portfolio increased by £6.4m and we didn't have any one-off costs.
We continue to have a robust balance sheet with members' funds of £234.9m, an increase of £35.4m on the prior year.
It's been a much tougher 12 months than we anticipated due to factors outside of our control. However, the resolve shown by our colleagues in dealing with the challenges we've faced has been staggering. They deserve all the credit for our positive impact in the region.Doug Field, Joint Chief Executive
Sales down 0.3%
Sales fell by £1m compared with the prior year. This was to be expected as shopping habits returned to normal following the national lockdowns. However, a decline in food sales was partially offset by an increase in sales from our petrol filling stations.
Food sales down 3.6%
While food sales were down £11.1m compared to last year, they were 5.9% higher than in 2019/20 (pre-pandemic).
£0.1m increase in Investment Property income
Rental income from our Investment Property portfolio increased by £0.1m. Income from our residential property grew by over 10%, thanks in part to the completion of our Long Wyre Street development in Colchester.
£0.2m increase in Funeral sales
We saw a 1.2% increase in the number of funerals conducted compared with the prior year. The average price for funerals remained broadly consistent.
Looking at other parts of our business, petrol filling stations saw sales grow by over 50% as volumes returned to pre-pandemic levels and prices increased. Travel sales, although markedly higher than 2020/2021, remain significantly down on the levels generated in 2019/20.
Co-op Secure Response generated sales in excess of £2m and sales in H L Perfitt, our stonemasonry business, increased by 18.3%. Although sales in our Events business grew, ongoing restrictions meant they have not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels.
Petrol filling stations saw sales grow by over50%£2 million
sales generated by Co-op Secure Response
Our underlying trading profit fell by £5.8m, to £1.5m.
The contribution to trading profit from our Food business fell substantially. This was down to a combination of shopping habits stabilising following the height of the pandemic, and supply chain disruption in the second half of this year which depressed our sales volumes.
Elsewhere in the business, the increase in Funeral sales together with control of costs saw our Funeral business increase its profits. Forecourts also saw profits increase, while losses in Travel and H L Perfitt were much reduced compared to 2021.
Our Investment Property business saw profits fall due to increased levels of repairs and increases in rates.
An increase in the value of our investment property portfolio by £6.4m saw our profit before tax grow to £7.6m, compared with a loss before tax of £1.7m in the prior year.
Members' funds £234.9m up £35.4m
Our defined benefit scheme pension deficit reduced by £36.1m. The two main reasons for the change are better than expected returns on investments, and the positive experience adjustment arising from updating the data at the 2021 funding valuation.
The value of our Investment Property portfolio increased by nearly £10m
At the year end we held £67.4m of pre-paid funerals, which is £1m up in the year.
increase in value of our Investment Property portfolio£35 million
increase in members' fund
Our net cash decreased by £2.5m
At the year-end we had net debt of £3m compared with £0.5m last year. We repaid £2m of our £5m bank facility during the year. The reduction in trading profits reduced the cash generated from our operating activities. Proceeds from the sale our Subway operations and of our funeral branches in Cambridgeshire and West Suffolk generated £1m.
We continued to invest in our business with two new Food stores opening in the year and our Investment Property development at Long Wyre Street, Colchester was completed. We also continued to invest in technology, self-checkouts, point of sale system, new handheld terminals and business intelligence.£1 million
generated in proceeds from the sale of our Subway operations and funeral branches
Global unrest is contributing to rising costs, especially commodity prices and energy costs. Inflation is rising and interest rates, at the time of writing, are at their highest level since March 2020. These factors are all contributing to an increase in the costs of doing business.
The year 2021/22 was a challenging one, but we expect 2022/23 to be even more challenging given the economic headwinds. The cost of implementing the changes to Food stores for High in Fat Salt and Sugar (HFSS) legislation could impact profits, and the regulation of pre-paid funeral plans also comes into force during 2022. We will review if any changes need to be made to mitigate the increase in costs of doing business.
The reduction in trading profits combined with the challenges ahead in 2022/23 is why we have reduced the level of Members' dividend, but we retain a strong balance sheet with Members' funds growing by £35.4m to £234.9m.
However with all that said, we have the funds and resources to continue to invest to grow the business, and we will continue to work hard to improve the daily lives of our members, communities, customers and colleagues. The success of our co-op is based on this foundation, and we'll continue to support our communities through these changing times.
Investment in business intelligence
This year marked a significant milestone in our journey to utilise data more efficiently within the business, as the work on our new bespoke data warehouse work was completed. Our investment in business intelligence started more than three years ago to help us improve the way we handle data so it can play a fundamental role in driving future business success.
Our core business systems are now linked to our data warehouse and we're ready to maximise the intelligence from this. This will help us better understand what our members and customers need, so we can improve our customer offering and become a more resilient and stronger business as a result.
To help the business tap into the enormous potential from this new resource and instil a data-driven culture, we've delivered extensive internal training including masterclasses for our senior team and Data Analyst apprenticeship programmes.
The project will continue to develop and this year we're looking to create new tools for our teams to use so they can better access, understand and use the data. Our analytic capabilities will continue to grow and will potentially unlock hidden opportunities thanks to data science.
In October we launched a brand-new advertising campaign for our Funeral services. Entitled 'It Means Everything', the campaign was centred on Benny – a family teddy bear who was passed from father to daughter at birth – and followed the family through the years until the father's funeral, when the family was supported by our Funeral team.
Our 'It Means Everything' campaign has been running throughout the winter and reached millions of people across the region. From radio and social media advertising to the heart of our campaign, a compelling 40-second TV advert, we were pleased to proudly showcase our caring and professional Funeral services team to new audiences.
For more information about our Funeral services, visit
A trio of new store openings
This year we were pleased to open the doors of three new stores across Suffolk, Essex and Norfolk. In January we moved into the former Potters Filling Station on Station Road in Framlingham, complementing our existing supermarket in the town and offering on-the-go produce.
The year was then nicely concluded with two further openings in December, including the highly anticipated new supermarket in Chesterwell Plaza. This exciting new build in North Colchester will serve the newly established community after nearly a year in the making and includes a Barista Bar as well as all our usual supermarket essentials.
After acquiring the property earlier in the year, we were also pleased to re-open the East Harling village shop just ahead of Christmas following a refit. Children from East Harling Primary School joined us for the launch, singing carols and bringing festive cheer to the occasion.
Year on year, we review every element of 'Our Co-op' to ensure we're continuing to provide the best services for our members, customers and communities. That can mean change, closing parts of our estate and investing in others, as we evolve to suit the needs of our business.
In the last year we've needed to make some difficult decisions, including the sale of our 11 Subway outlets, and the closure of 11 of our Funeral branches.
We proudly operated our Subway outlets for many years, but the sale of this part of the business will enable us to further focus on our expertise as convenience retail specialists.
Our Funeral services have been an intrinsic part of our business for almost a century, and they continue to remain so today, with our teams offering services based on the highest standards of dignity, respect and care.
Long Wyre Street redevelopment reaches completion
The exciting £5.5m redevelopment of our historic department store in Long Wyre Street, in Colchester, completed this year.
After a brief delay caused by Covid-19, we finished the redevelopment of the 60,000 sq. ft site into 24 high quality, modern apartments, sat above a complex of retail and restaurant units to create a vibrant mix of spaces for people to live, work and socialise in.
Long Wyre Street redevelopment reaches completion
The new property contributes to the wider revival of Colchester town centre, which, like so many others, has struggled to maintain footfall and vitality in the wake of the boom in online sales and out of town shopping centres.
The Romano Lounge was the first dining venue to open its doors there, with other eateries and shops set to follow.
Building our fanbase
'Your Co-op Live'
The past year has seen the launch of our brand-new series of interactive live shows, Your Co-op Live. We started them during the pandemic to engage with and support our members and customers. So far, we have held five events which have been streamed from a number of locations across the region.
Each show is themed around a different subject, from all things food, to wellbeing or celebrating life. Expert speakers and special guests join us for each event and we also run things like cookery demos, Q&As and lively discussions.
Everyone who joins an event has the chance to receive a small token of thanks from us, whether that's a treat box of Sourced Locally products or money-off vouchers to spend in store. Since the first Your Co-op Live event we've seen attendance increase by a phenomenal 350%, and we're looking forward to continuing the series in the coming year.
Your Co-op Live - you can watch all previous episodes here.
In December, we launched our 'Member Perks' scheme, offering exclusive money-saving offers to our members. Our members are central to our business and we could not exist without them - so these rewards are yet another benefit to being part of the East of England Co-op family.
Offers range from money-off local attractions and discounts on eating out, to reductions on gym memberships and magazine subscriptions. Previous perks have included half price admission to Banham Zoo and Africa Alive, and 10% off bookings at Go Ape.
The launch of the scheme also saw a surge in member sign-ups, showing real consumer demand for these kinds of rewards. We'll be refreshing our perks throughout the year, offering a continuous stream of discounts from a range of local partner brands.
Customer satisfaction survey
This year we launched a new customer survey - 'How did we do?', helping us to better understand what our customers think about us and what we can do better. Launching in October 2021, so far almost 1 in 4 (23%) customers have completed the email survey after visiting one of our stores.
Our colleagues are able to track their store's progress via an online feedback portal, helping them to identify where they can improve to ensure they're giving their customers the very best service.
So far, we've found that around 60% of our customers are pleased with their overall experience, which is fantastic news. But there are always aspects that can be improved – so we'll be working hard to drive this score up over the coming year and ensure we're giving our customers more of what they want from us.
Shop and share
We continue to lead the fight for food justice in the region through our support of local foodbanks. Last year we donated more than £22,000 to 25 organisations, which included cash donations directly to foodbanks, along with money raised through our foodbank donation gift cards.
With the cost of living rising sharply, this financial contribution has enabled the foodbanks to offer practical, targeted support which directly addresses individual needs; things like being able to afford fuel to take the kids to school, as well as putting food on the table.Helen Raven, Senior Community Manager
Healthy Start vouchers
With recent figures from the Trussell Trust indicating that up to 40% of foodbank users are children, we have continued to increase the value of Healthy Start vouchers from £4.25 to £5.
In 2021, we provided 5,723 boosts to Healthy Start vouchers. That's £4,292.25 worth of extra healthy, nutritious food that struggling families may not otherwise have had.
Foodbank donation cards
At our Annual Summit in October, we asked foodbanks how we can best support them. They told us they had a major undersupply of much-needed items such as nappies, so we created Shop and Share donation bins which move around our stores, directing customers to the products foodbanks need the most.
We donated £22,640 to foodbanks this year while supporting 25 foodbanks
Community Cares Fund
Supporting our local communities is deep-rooted in our values as a co-operative, and we feel passionately about investing in organisations which make a difference to the lives of others. Our Community Cares Fund helps us to do just that. Set up in April 2020 in response to the pandemic, the Community Cares Fund allows us to support a variety of projects and organisations which are helping people in our communities to thrive.
Since our last annual report, we've awarded £200,000 to a diverse range of local groups focusing on everything from community action and food justice, to mental health and wellbeing. In total since the Fund launched, we've given away £490,000 worth of grants which has been supplemented by our generous members who donate their annual dividend.
Our latest round of funding was announced in January 2022 when 33 organisations across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex received grants ranging from between £725 and £5,000. The funding will support more than 23,000 people and projects included counselling services, mother and baby groups and activity clubs for young people.23,000
people received support
Community Cares Fund
One of the beneficiaries was Inclusion Ventures; they received a £4,500 grant to create a new community garden in Jaywick, Essex for children and adults to grow fruit and vegetables, helping to promote healthy eating and encouraging appreciation for food. Elsewhere in Suffolk, Emmaus received £4,000 to run a cooking club to help local people in crisis make healthy, affordable meals.
For more information visit
worth of grants awarded through our Community Cares Fund since April 2020£200,000
given to local projects this year
Funeral Support Grants
Helping families say goodbye
Funeral poverty is a nationwide problem, affecting families at the most difficult time. That's why we launched our Funeral Support Grants in June, to help support people who are struggling to afford a service to say goodbye to their loved one.
The grants are available to our funeral clients who are in receipt of a Funeral Expense Payment from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). If the DWP funding only covers part of the cost, we will apply a grant to the remaining total, deducting up to £200 off the final bill.
we initially have100 grants
available and to date have issued 20, totalling£3,675
Sourced Locally Awards
Co-op awards outstanding pandemic performance
Newly launched this year, our Sourced Locally Awards were a resounding success, with winners selected exclusively by customer and member votes only. The Producer of the Year and Store of the Year categories received nearly three thousand votes in all, recognising those producers and store colleagues who went above and beyond during the height of the pandemic.
Six finalists were shortlisted in each of the categories, recognising outstanding local food and drink producers, as well as stores that have gone the extra mile to champion local produce.
Store of the year - Woodbridge, Hamblin Walk
Watch our 'Store of the Year' video here
Sourced Locally Awards
Co-op awards outstanding pandemic performance
Winner of Producer of the Year was The Taste of Suffolk, a third-generation family Suffolk-based business that has been producing quality sausages, bacon and cooked meats for more than 40 years. With a high demand for barbecue products during lockdown, The Taste of Suffolk decided to launch a new range of burgers for customers to enjoy at home.
Our Supermarket in Woodbridge won Store of the Year for the hard work its colleagues had put into promoting and supporting local suppliers. The team likes to visit local sites, such as strawberry and asparagus fields, to gain as much knowledge about local products as possible.
Producer of the year - The Taste of Suffolk
Watch our 'Producer of the Year' video here
Sourced Locally Success
We're now an incredible 15 years into Sourced Locally, our award-winning initiative to supply our customers with products made by local suppliers.
After proving a hit with shoppers during the height of the pandemic, our Sourced Locally range has continued to perform well this year, with sales up on 2019/20 (pre-pandemic).
A number of our suppliers have recorded huge growth within our stores during this time. The demand for frozen fruit has seen sales of D C Williamson's berries increase by 59%, while wines from Toppesfield Vineyard continue to grow in popularity, with sales up 100%.
Earlier in the year, when national suppliers were experiencing availability issues, our trusted Sourced Locally partners were able to support us to meet customer demand and keep our shelves stocked.
This year we welcomed Tapp'd Cocktails to our Sourced Locally family. Based in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex, they are the UK's only range of handcrafted, ready-to-drink cocktails.
Improving the daily lives of our colleagues
Our Co-op, Your Voice survey
Top line results
In November we undertook a brand-new, company-wide colleague survey called 'Our Co-op, Your Voice' to give us a more detailed insight into how our colleagues feel about working for us.
Our overall engagement score was 75%, which tells us a good majority of our colleagues feel connected to us and satisfied that we have created a supportive workplace where they're able to thrive. More than 75% of colleagues feel that we do everything we can to make our customers and members feel valued.
Colleagues feel that we have a culture of fairness and inclusion where everybody is welcomed and respected, and understand how their work and performance helps us move forward.
Our colleagues feel trusted to come to work and get on with the job, and 93% say they are clear about what is expected of them. A positive team spirit was also noted. 75% of colleagues said they work within teams where colleagues help each other out, and their team is the biggest reason why they continue working for us.
Suffolk Mind partnership
Our partnership with Suffolk Mind
In 2021 we established a ground-breaking wellbeing partnership with Suffolk Mind. The pandemic impacted mental health and wellbeing for many people, and we wanted to make sure we were offering the right support to our colleagues.
We now have a Wellbeing Programme Manager who is helping us to embed Suffolk Mind's principles within our organisation. They are also delivering training to line managers, giving them the confidence and tools to support their teams.
Ultimately, we want to become the best retail organisation for talking about and taking care of mental health, and improve the wellbeing and daily lives of our colleagues.Laura Stiff, Colleague Engagement Manager
Welcoming new colleagues
First impressions count, so we've invested in new resources to further enhance the start of a new colleague's journey with us.
We've developed the 'Onboarding Your New Colleague' programme for our managers, and the 'Welcome to Our Co-op' curriculum for new starters, which ensures we communicate everything about who we are, from our values to our culture, right from the start.
It also features a live online 'welcome webinar' jointly hosted by our learning and development team and a senior manager, which has seen over 100 colleagues attend to date. We're all about our people, and their experience matters, right from day one.
Comments on the 'welcome webinar'
Our learning and development offering continues to go from strength to strength, providing structured learning pathways for our colleagues. Now in its sixth year, our Apprenticeship Programme has supported more than 150 colleagues to date, through schemes in areas including accountancy, leadership and HR.
In the last year, we've added apprenticeships in PR and communications and learning and development to our offering, and have welcomed 27 colleagues onto our programmes.
Our colleagues have flourished as a result, such as Food Branch Manager Jonnie Gilbert, who is completing a management apprenticeship and was named 'Business and Management Apprentice of the Year' by West Suffolk Business College, and Lewis Upson, who is completing a level 4 PR & Communications apprenticeship and was responsible for securing record attendance at an episode of 'Your Co-op Live', our interactive live shows for members.
Alongside our apprenticeships, we proudly support colleagues with a wealth of learning opportunities through the Hive learning portal, offering interactive content on how to do the job, as well as personal and professional development, delivered both virtually and face to face.
Not only is Lewis an integral part of our team, he's enthusiastic and a quick learner, and we value his opinion. I think the apprenticeship has been the making of Lewis; he's well respected within our co-op and I am incredibly proud of him and what he's achieving.Lynn Warner, Line Manager to Lewis Upson
achieved Distinctions this year
colleagues have joined our apprenticeship programme
pass rate vs National average of 55%
Taking action to help save our planet
Like you, we love and care about our beautiful region, which is why we launched a litter picking campaign this summer called 'In it to bin it'. As well as colleagues helping to clean up their local areas, we gave out 100 packs of litter picking equipment to community groups, schools and other local organisations and ran a competition to reward those who collected the most bags of waste.
Our winner was the brilliant Pride of Mersea group who gathered up an extremely impressive 300 bags of litter from the West Mersea area! They received £100 in store vouchers and a personalised trophy for their efforts. However, there's still lots of work to do to keep our region clean. To help, we've equipped all our food stores, funeral and travel branches with a litter pick which can be borrowed by members and customers.
2030 carbon pledge
We believe being sustainable means looking at every part of our business and culture, which includes being accountable for our impact on the planet and supporting our colleagues and communities to thrive. This is why we're pledging to make increasing efficiencies, while also reducing our energy consumption and environmental impact.
With this in mind, in 2010, we pledged to reduce our direct carbon emissions by 3% each year for 10 years. Our commitment was rewarded with a greater-than-expected 50% reduction between 2010 and 2020. Then, after an exceptional year in 2020/21, delivering significant emissions savings, we chose to revise our commitment to a bolder 33% reduction by 2025.33%
committed reduction in CO2e emissions by 2025
2030 carbon pledge
Now, we're working hard to achieve the following by 2030:
- To become a fully carbon neutral business achieved by a combination of robust emissions reduction and carbon offset strategies.
- To ensure all commercial fleet vehicles are Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) or Electric Vehicles (EV).
- To increase annual on-site renewable energy generation to at least 5% of our current electricity need.
In order to succeed in this, we're committing to an increasing number of actions to be delivered at key points between now and the end of 2030. To find out more, read about our Environmental Sustainability policy. www.eastofengland.coop/about-us/responsible-business/our-policies/energy-policy2030
fully carbon neutral business
Soft plastic recycling
With so many materials and different kerbside recycling policies, it can be hard to know what can and can't go into your home recycling bin. That's why we're really pleased to be working with our fellow Co-ops across the country by offering a new easier way to recycle difficult plastics.
We've now added soft plastic recycling bins to all our stores to ensure those items that can't yet be recycled at home can be easily brought to the store for us to handle instead. Soft plastics are packaging that springs back after you scrunch it in your hand, like bread bags, cereal box liners and toilet roll wrappers.
Once sorted, the recycled wrapping can be turned into plastic pellets and used to create new products like bin liners and buckets. These new soft plastic waste bins join our existing recycling facilities in store for used batteries and bags for life.
COP26 Zero Carbon Tour
We took part in the 'Zero Carbon Tour 2021', hosted by sustainability certification body Planet Mark, to publicly commit to our 2030 carbon neutral target.
The tour featured the UK's first all-electric coach and arrived at the University of Suffolk in Ipswich in September, on its way to COP26 in Glasgow.
As a Suffolk Carbon Charter Pathfinder Partner, we were asked to join the event to help demonstrate the strength of support for a Net Zero future amongst Suffolk businesses. We presented our 'carbon story', sharing our successes to date and plans for meeting our carbon neutral target over the next eight years.2021
Our Head of Sustainability, Steven Fendley, spoke at the Ipswich leg of the Zero Carbon Tour ahead of COP26
EV charging points
We know that green transport is key to a zero carbon future, so we're working with partners 'Plug N Go' to meet the increasing need for electric vehicle (EV) charging points within our communities.
We've already installed public EV chargers at seven of our stores in Aldeburgh, Wickham Market, Woodbridge, Acle, Felixstowe, Harleston and Manningtree. We've also installed 10 chargers at our Head Office and three in our funeral branches for our colleagues and tenants, and we're committed to installing a further 40 by 2025.
Our customers used the chargers more than 2,000 times this year (2021-22), topping up with around 42,000 kWh of energy.
Solar panel expansion
We're expanding our use of solar panels across our estate, taking proactive steps to generate our own renewable power.
Solar panels are already in place at our Head Office and at four of our branches. Last year, these generated almost 60,000 kWh of electricity – enough to power an average UK house for over 17 years*, saving around 13 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
This year, in partnership with Suffolk County Council, we're adding solar panels to three of our supermarkets. These are set to generate 214,000 kWh per year in total, saving around 45 tonnes of Co2 emissions annually, and 1,000 tonnes over their expected lifespan.
*Based on an average of 3,500 kWh per year.
Energy and carbon reporting
Our emissions data is reported in line with the UK government's Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) policy and is calculated using the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol – Corporate Standard with reference to UK Government GHG Conversion Factors for Company Reporting 2021 and in-house tools.
Using this method, our carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions in metric tonnes for the past two financial years are as follows:
Society carbon emissions
Electricity 8,309.50 7,728.47 Natural Gas 376.22 307.63 Gas Oil 24 20.49 Kerosene 11.89 8.44 Transport 517.37 500.94 Fugitive Refrigerant Gas 3,137.32 2,551.14 Total 12,376.30 11,117.10
*Restated following the change to a more accurate source of energy usage data.
Energy and carbon reporting
Reducing our carbon emissions and improving our energy efficiency are top priorities for our co-op. We're committed to using energy from sustainable sources to power our stores, branches and Head Office and deliver our services to our members and customers. We've achieved a 10% decrease in our overall tCO2e (Metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent). This is equivalent to 28 tCO2e per £1m turnover.
Energy use from electricity, gas and transport fuel
Electricity – This is the total amount of electricity used at our commercial and operational premises, excluding on-site generated renewable energy
Natural Gas – The total amount of Natural Gas used at our commercial premises
Gas Oil and Kerosene – A very small number of our premises have oil fired heating. We're looking to replace these
Transport – This is the amount of energy in the form of fuel used for transport on Society business, excluding deliveries by others.
Source Energy use kWh Electricity 36,338,752 Natural Gas 1,679,595 Gas Oil 691 Kerosene 323 Transport (Scope 1) 1,842,343 Transport (Scope 2) 255,104