Waitrose & Partners is to introduce a new design of shelf-edge strips which uses racing car technology to make its shops more energy efficient.
Twin blades made of recyclable polycarbonate will be fitted to the front of its fridge shelving to reduce cold air being lost into the aisles using the same techniques that channel airflow more efficiently around racing cars to enable them to corner at higher speeds.
The Wirth Research (WR) EcoBlade™ will reduce energy consumption of the supermarket’s refrigerators by up to 25% – saving the energy equivalent of making 1.6 billion cups of tea per year.
It will also make aisles feel warmer for customers and takes away the need to install fridge doors, while ensuring a constant shelf temperature throughout the fridges to maintain product quality.
The EcoBlade, which will roll out in shops from March, is the first in a number of projects that WR and Waitrose & Partners will be working together on, looking at innovative ways to cut energy use in the coming years.
Marion Gorrod, branch manager at Waitrose & Partners St Saviour, said: “Applying this design is another way we’re driving forward efforts to reduce our impact on the environment. This innovative technology of simply changing our shelf edging will significantly help us save energy across all our stores in the Channel Islands.”
Nick Wirth, president and founder of Wirth Research and a former Formula 1 team owner, said:
“We are delighted to receive this significant endorsement from Waitrose & Partners. It is another major step forward in air management and the reduction of energy consumption in buildings.”