When we talk about Russian economy, we always talk about energy. Around 25% of Russia's economic output is due to the energy industry. Almost 50% of the Russian state budget is financed by the energy sector. Compared to Western Europe, Russia consumes more than three times the amount of energy (per unit of GDP) and is one of the most energy-intensive economies in the world. So, it is more than obvious that: Energy plays a crucial role in Russia.
Nowadays Energy Efficiency is a major topic and is part of sustainable agendas all around the world, and Russia is no exception. In May 2018, the President of the Russian Federation signed the Decree “On National Goals and Strategic Tasks of the Development of the Russian Federation for the Period until 2024”. One of the goals is to encourage corporations to switch to the best available environment friendly technologies in order to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions at least by 20%.
METRO is presented in Russia by 94 Cash and Carry stores and is one of the largest foreign investors to the Russian economy, while making a great contribution to achieving the national goals in terms of sustainability. For instance, in 2019 the company replaced conventional lamps by LEDs in all stores in Russia, which led to an overall reduction in energy consumption by 20-25%. Moreover, according to the “Shecco” market research - global market accelerator helping companies bring their climate-friendly solutions faster to market - METRO is an undisputed leader in terms of the number of stores with environment friendly and efficient CO2 refrigeration systems in Russia.
Even though it may sound ironic in this context, CO2 belongs to the so-called “natural” refrigerants and is the most energy efficient. It is non-toxic and safe for the environment. Currently 31 out of 94 METRO stores in Russia use CO2 cooling system. One of the last modernized stores located in Ulyanovsk, 700 km east of Moscow, uses refrigerant with the total cooling capacity of 438 kW for a store space of 6,000 m2.
In addition, METRO Russia has the following goal: All stores from St. Petersburg to Irkustsk, near Lake Baikal, are to be converted from artificially synthesized refrigerants, such as R404A, to CO2 refrigerants. Next up is the store in Orgenburg near the border of Kazakhstan.
These conversion measures are part of the company's commitment to reduce 50% of its own CO2 emissions by 2030 compared to the base year 2011.
In 2013 METRO started the F-GAS exit program and has been working intensively on the exit from F-gases in cooling systems in all METRO stores worldwide, ever since. As far as technically and economically feasible, these systems are replaced by so-called natural - environmentally friendly - cooling systems.
This is a major step towards more energy efficiency and to prevent our world from an irreversible climate change!
Let us note: The energy transformation has now also reached Russia. In September 2019, the Government has ratified the Paris Climate Convention. Companies in Russia are now in challenged. They must assume more responsibility and implement the conditions of the Paris Climate Convention in their value chain.
One thing is certain: the rise of temperature caused by global warming will have far-reaching consequences for infrastructure, industry, cities and rural areas. Therefore, a change of direction in Russia's climate policy is inevitable.