Protecting Our Environment

Protecting our environment

Iceland respects the environment, and has active programmes to reduce its energy demand, maximise the use of environmentally friendly gases, and cut food and packaging waste. Our efforts to reduce our environmental impact are co-ordinated by a cross-functional team, working closely with external partners including WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme) and the British Retail Consortium Environmental Policy Action Group.

Reducing Our Carbon Footprint

In March 2010, Iceland was officially certified as having attained the Carbon Trust Standard, after achieving a 15% reduction in carbon emissions relative to turnover over the three year assessment period, and an absolute reduction in emissions of 2%. Building on this success, we achieved an absolute reduction in carbon emissions of 8% by 2015, and work has continued to date.

We had replaced all our signage lighting with LEDs by 2012, and invested £8 million to replace our sales floor lighting systems throughout our estate with LEDs by the end of 2015, delivering a 50% reduction in our lighting costs. A further £3.2 million investment in 2017 will complete the conversion of all ancillary lighting in stores to LEDs, and the installation of automatic lighting controllers throughout our estate.

Our ongoing asset replacement programme is achieving like-for-like reductions in energy consumption by chillers and freezers of 25–30% per unit. All refrigerated display cabinets are also being converted to LED lighting.

Iceland always specifies equipment and components that operate with the minimum of power, ensuring where possible that equipment is selected from the Government’s “Energy Technology List”. We have installed smart control systems in all of our stores which monitor and control energy consumption in lighting, refrigeration and process cooling at equipment level, enabling us quickly to identify any wastage and ensure prompt remedial action.

We installed motion sensor lighting to avoid wastefully lighting unoccupied rooms at our head office in Deeside several years ago, and will complete conversion of the building to LED lighting in 2017.

During 2016 we achieved an 18% reduction in energy usage at our Deeside cold store through investment to replace the refrigeration assets.

We have a Climate Change Agreement (CCA) with DEFRA covering all our distribution centres, under which we originally committed to achieve a cut in energy consumption of 12% in these sites by March 2013. This target was met and the CCA has since been extended to 2023, with targeted year-on-year reductions in energy usage continuing to be achieved.


Our heavy goods vehicle fleet is regularly renewed with the aim of maximising fuel economy and minimising emissions. Our fleet replacement policy has recently changed and we now replace vehicles after three rather than five years’ service, to ensure that we can introduce new vehicle initiatives relating to fuel economy and safety in a timely manner. All our new trucks meet the Euro 6 standard, which is the highest for minimising vehicle emissions. Speed limiters are set to 53mph to conserve energy and auto shutdown mechanisms are fitted to trucks if their engines are left idling for more than three minutes. Telematics is fitted to all vehicles to monitor driving styles, to ensure that they are driven in the safest and most economical manner. Legislation introduced in November 2015 has led to the introduction of advanced emergency braking and lane departure warning safety features, which are fitted as standard to our new heavy goods vehicles. New build trailers are fitted with aerodynamic corner cappings and vortex generators to the rear of the roof, which reduce fuel consumption.

We are implementing several initiatives that reduce the impact of the distribution of our products:

1. Optimising pallet utilisation to increase load efficiency;
2. Introducing returnable packaging systems (e.g. re-usable trays) for supplier deliveries to our stores;
3. Optimising the journeys undertaken to pick up products and packaging so as to maximise back-fill and reduce overall CO2 emissions.

These initiatives, along with increasing use of fuel sourced from renewable sources (bio-fuels) will further reduce our overall environmental footprint.


Iceland has also consistently adopted forward-thinking policies aimed at minimising the environmental impact of refrigerants through careful selection of appropriate materials and the thorough maintenance of equipment. In 1989 we built one of the first plants to recycle ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons  (CFCs), and established a free recovery and recycling service to remove CFCs from our customers’ old appliances.

Since 1994, all of our warehouse developments have used climate-friendly ammonia as their exclusive refrigerant, and this is now used exclusively in all our distribution centres. In 1998, we launched the Kyoto range of eco-friendly domestic fridges and freezers, uniquely endorsed by Greenpeace. In 1999, we became the first UK retailer to open a store using only natural refrigerants comprising CO2 remote frozen and hydrocarbon water chillers for chilled cabinet cooling. Our equipment replacement policy focuses on the use of environmentally friendly hydrocarbon refrigerants in our store equipment, wherever legislation allows us to do so.