Klimamarkt Tengelmann: If the refrigerator were used for heating

As the first CO2-free supermarket in Germany, Tengelmann Klimamarkt is playing a leading role in climate-friendly food retail trade. Through extensive efficiency measures, energy consumption was cut by half, and the annual greenhouse gas emissions were reduced by around 175 tonnes.

In October 2008, a Tengelmann branch in Mülheim an der Ruhr was converted into the first climate-neutral supermarket in Germany. This only took eight weeks. The pilot project is embedded in the climate initiative of the Tengelmann Group. This is intended to show that energy-efficient and more environmentally friendly branch operation is possible in the food retail business. The store has taken a sustainable approach to energy-efficient technologies and innovations, which halve energy consumption in comparison with a conventional supermarket and cover the remaining demand exclusively on the basis of renewable energy sources.

Engine for progress:

  • first CO2-free supermarket in Germany
  • a pioneer in the food retail business
  • energy consumption reduced by half
  • reduction of the annual GHG emissions by around 175 tonnes

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Photo: Tengelmann Warenhandelsgesellschaft

In 2008, within a construction period of just eight weeks, a Tengelmann branch in Mülheim an der Ruhr was converted into the first Klimamarkt (climate-friendly supermarket). Comprehensive efficiency measures reduced the power consumption by half, thereby reducing the annual GHG emissions by around 175 tonnes.

The climate is king

In order to meet the high energy requirements of the market, the individual services (ventilation, refrigeration/cooling, lighting and heating) have been aligned with each other in terms of how they work. A process computer collects the necessary information from a broad range of measuring points and regulates the operating conditions to their optimal operating points respectively. Because of this, for example, up to 75 per cent of the heat supply for the market is provided through the recovery of waste heat from refrigeration. The remaining 25 per cent is provided by six near-surface geothermal probes in connection with a heat pump. In turn, this makes it possible to extract heat from the building and discharge it into the soil in summer. Furthermore, the lighting controls, refrigerators equipped with glass doors or glass sliding covers, a rain water cistern, as well as green electricity from a 1,140 m² photovoltaic system, for example, contribute to around 175 tonnes of CO2 per year being saved in comparison with a conventional supermarket.

From a pilot project to being rolled out across the country

Within the context of continuous monitoring, important energy consumption values were measured. The lessons learned from these measures have been incorporated directly into the build specifications for markets at Kaiser's Tengelmann and have also been reducing greenhouse gas emissions beyond Mülheim since then.

Photo: Tengelmann Warenhandelsgesellschaft

"The energy savings of the market have confirmed the theoretical calculations and lead to climate protection and the reduction of operating costs. It was exciting to work as part of the project team and to discuss the many ideas generated as well as to participate in implementing the best ones."

Babette Nitschke, employee at the Environment and Sustainability Unit for Tengelmann Energie

Partners and sponsors

  • Tengelmann Warenhandelsgesellschaft KG
  • Kaiser’s Tengelmann GmbH
Counselling centers:
  • EnergieAgentur.NRW