Costa, the UK’s largest coffee shop chain, says it is committed to working with the most energy efficient catering equipment on the market after slashing its energy costs by almost a third over the past six years.
The company recently launched its first ever ‘Eco Pod’ in Telford and believes it could represent the future of sustainable store design.
However, the ‘zero energy’ status achieved by the Eco Pod is purely down to the building structure itself — all the internal operating equipment, including espresso machines, Panini grills and dishwashers , use power in a conventional way.
But Costa insists it remains focused on scrutinising the efficiency of the operating equipment in a bid to drive down carbon emissions further.
Oliver Rosevear, energy and environment manager for Costa, told FEJ: “We work closely with all our equipment manufacturers to develop the most energy efficient equipment available to us. From our ceramic panini grills to our intelligent coffee machines — energy and water efficiency are at the centre of our decision-making process. This focus has delivered a 32% energy saving across our retail estate since 2009.”
Rosevear stressed that Costa regards “energy efficiency” as a key consideration when specifying new catering equipment for its stores, recognition that energy costs can far outweigh the capital cost of equipment over its lifetime.
He said a good example of this innovation was its new Valina coffee machine, which rather than using a single boiler has three chambers to improve the efficiency of heating the water.
“The machine is able to learn the trade patterns of the store and manage its power usage throughout the day and week. This has led to a reduction in energy usage of 28% compared to its predecessor’s. In addition, the machine gives out less heat which reduces the demands on our in-store cooling systems. Therefore, not only does it deliver great coffee every day — it also uses less energy in the process.”
The maiden Eco Pod store in Telford took 13 weeks to build and measures 150 square metres. It has seating for approximately 58 people inside and 20 outside.
Costa intends to monitor the format closely over the next six to 12 months so that the lessons it learns can be incorporated into future new build stores. It hasn’t yet revealed what its long-term plans are for the concept.
With over 1,800 coffee shops in the UK and more than 1,100 overseas, Costa claims to be the fastest growing coffee shop business in the UK and the second largest coffee shop operator in the world.