Information Systems for Environmental Sustainability

IT, Resource Productivity, Environmental Preservation, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Can’t Manage What You Don’t Measure: Exhibit A – Grocery Stores

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According to Verisae, grocery stores  consume the most energy of any retail segment and operate on the narrowest margins.

Consequently they have both the strongest incentive and the largest opportunities to enhance profit through energy management.

And also to enhance profit through carbon management, I would add. Verisae make several recommendations that impact day-to-day operations, many of which have to do with what happens when actual data is used rather than averages or vendor specifications.

Understand the energy efficiency of all the equipment in your stores. Verisae noted that the energy consumption of a single model of equipment can vary dramatically from manufacturer’s specifications and third-party performance ratings, and can also vary from one store to another.  Relying on averages and published numbers will produce inaccurate projections.

Other recommendations include:

  • Submeter your stores.
  • Monitor energy consumption in real time.
  • Understand the effects of facility and equipment-maintenance activity on energy cost.
  • Understand the changing relationship between energy demand and cost.
  • Capture and analyze complete and accurate data from your utility bills.

Effective use of carbon management systems enables the integration of submeter data, real-time energy monitoring, business intelligence tying resources to finances, and integration and analysis of utility bill data. However, capabilities to implement and use CMS effectively must be developed in order to enable these business benefits. Otherwise, it’s “if we build it they will come” and we know how that works out. (Full article here.)


Author: nigelpm

Associate Professor of Information Systems, Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan - Helping organizations to navigate digital transformation.

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