Drinks in a refrigerator cabinet with glass doors

Climate-friendly branches

An energy-efficient future

Branches that generate more energy than they use: for us, that vision has already become a reality. we see climate-friendly branches as a case of doing the right thing.

Janine Radlingmayr
What we do

As a sustainable enterprise we have set ourselves ambitious climate targets and also want our branches to have as small an environmental footprint as possible.

How does that work?

  • We use natural refrigerants and solar power at our branches, while minimising energy consumption.

  • At new branches, the heating runs entirely on waste heat from the refrigeration systems.

  • We no longer install oil and gas heating systems.

No new heating systems

«Touch the back of a refrigerator, and you’ll know it produces heat. We capture this heat generated by the cooling process and use it to heat our branches,» explains Andreas Moser, Project Manager for Energy Efficiency and Climate Protection Projects at the Federation of Migros Cooperatives. Separate heating is no longer needed at new branches – all thanks to intelligent circuits.

Energy-efficient LED technology

The lighting, too, is state of the art: Lamps account for about one quarter of a branch’s power consumption. Energy-efficient LED technology halves the amount of power required for lighting. Glass doors on the refrigerator cabinets for milk or cold meats reduce energy consumption by up to 45% compared to open-fronted refrigeration units.

Sustainable branches – our solutions 

Our benchmark? Maximum energy efficiency!

Buildings now account for over half of Switzerland’s energy consumption. A state of affairs that motivates us. Our ambitious climate and energy strategy makes a vital contribution to achieving the Paris climate goals.

So, what’s our approach? Quite simply, energy efficiency is our overriding priority. We also rigorously question whether every new installation is strictly necessary. We signed up to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) in 2020 to demonstrate our commitment to the Paris Agreement on climate change. Our goal is to be using exclusively renewable energy and 100% natural refrigerants by 2040.

Energy to spare

We are leading the way on saving energy: back in 2015 Migros opened Switzerland’s very first supermarket to generate more energy than it consumes. This meant it had energy to spare. “Our energy-positive branches are a landmark achievement – and have been so for more than eight years,” explains Andreas Moser. The concept of the energy-positive branch is based on an ingenious combination of energy-efficient solutions and using photovoltaic (PV) systems to generate solar power. We are in the process of opening even more branches that produce surplus energy.

Our energy-positive branches

Salt battery at the Schlieren branch
Salt battery at the Schlieren branch.© MGB
  • Zuzwil
    The first energy-positive branch opened in 2015. This was the first supermarket in the world to produce more energy than it uses. 

  • Schlieren
    Whether or not the sun is shining, here the storage battery connected to the PV system keeps the branch supplied with power. Switzerland’s largest environmentally friendly salt battery can also supply power overnight thanks to its capacity of 540 kWh.

  • Heiden
    The wooden structure that incorporates three photovoltaic facades and a PV system on its roof was awarded the 2020 Swiss Solar Prize.

  • Amriswil/Aachtal
    In an average year this branch produces 39% more energy than it consumes. It was awarded the PlusEnergieBau Diploma in 2017.

  • Unterwetzikon
    This new-build branch is heated substantially with the supermarket’s waste heat. There is also a PV system on its green roof.

Working for the environment – inside and out

Field of flowers in front of a Migros branch
© Migros Ostschweiz, Franziska Frutiger

We take an integrated view: while using the sun to generate energy for our branches, we also try to make the overall site look as natural as possible. We often even achieve both goals with amazing results – as demonstrated by the rooftops of many branches.