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Turkey: BİM produces its own energy

Discount Retail Chain Bİm (listed on IST: BIMAS) Executive Board Member and CFO Haluk Dortluoglu: "The total power of GES in our Batman, Istanbul and Igdir warehouses was 2.23 MW. We do not plan to install on the roofs of a total of 14 warehouses."

Bİm is making a name for itself with its rooftop solar power plant projects recently. We talked to Bİm Executive Board Member and CFO Haluk Dortluoglu about the details of the projects and the outputs obtained. Noting that they plan to build a solar power plant on the roofs of a total of 14 warehouses, Dorluoglu said that they aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Can you briefly talk about the establishment of your company and your activities in the sector? Bİm AS started its activities with 21 stores in 1995 with the aim of delivering basic food and consumer goods to the consumer at the most affordable price and highest quality possible. As the first representative of the high discount model in Turkey, Bİm limited its portfolio to about 800 products and offers a large number of private label products to its customers. Bİm, which is the leader of the retail sector in Turkey today, continues its activities with 9,303 stores throughout Turkey as of September 2021. Bİm has also increased the number of FİLE stores it offers to consumers to 153 with a new concept. Our company continues its development with effective cost management policy without giving up quality understanding and customer satisfaction priority.

Acting with the vision of becoming an international company, Bİm continues to operate in Morocco and Egypt. As of September 2021, there are 574 Bİm stores in Morocco and 300 in Egypt.

Can you evaluate it in terms of energy consumption in your sector? In which departments is the most energy consumed in storage areas? We have high consumption in lighting, heating, cooling, refrigerators, cold storages and machinery in our warehouses and stores. In terms of product freshness and the health of our customers, our refrigerators and cold storages operate 24/7 and have the highest share in terms of consumption.

What kind of strategy are you pursuing regarding energy efficiency? Can you respond by evaluating areas from lighting to cooling system? We aim to mitigate the environmental impact in our operations to contribute to the fight against climate change, one of the most important global environmental challenges. In this context, we implement projects and applications that will increase energy efficiency. We invest in electricity generation from renewable energy. At the same time, we are working to increase resource efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in logistics activities. The majority of BİM's energy consumption is generated by the electricity consumption of stores. Improving energy efficiency in stores both reduces the company's environmental impact and saves financial money. Accordingly, as of 2020, we have renewed the store format and started to make significant improvements in energy saving and thermal insulation. In the new store model of Bİm, we used stone wool and high-insulation glasses to provide internal thermal insulation and switched to energy-saving LED lighting models in order to reduce energy consumption. As a result of these applications, an average of 25% heat and 10% electricity savings were achieved per store. In addition, automatic board switch application has been initiated for lighting and energy consuming instruments that will not be used at the end of the shift. We are also renovating existing stores with the stores we have just opened.

We take measures to ensure energy efficiency in stores as well as warehouses. In the first stage, thermal insulation is provided by strengthening the exterior insulation of the buildings, applying the cladding façade/glass system. In addition, we have installed an energy scale monitoring system to measure electricity consumption in 14 warehouses. In this way, we take steps to increase energy efficiency and carry out optimization studies with regular monitoring of consumption. In 2020, energy density per square meter decreased by 4% compared to 2018 and was measured as 200.8 kWh/m². Bİm has initiated the project of installing solar power plants (GES) on the roofs of the regional warehouses in order to obtain electricity from renewable sources and 6.5 million TL has been invested in the project to date.

Can you tell us about your rooftop solar power plant projects that you have recently implemented? In which areas did you set up a power plant? Will there be different projects you plan to establish in the new period? We invest in renewable energy to contribute to the fight against climate change, one of the most important global environmental problems. In 2020, batman, in 2021, we installed solar energy system in our warehouses in Arnavutköy and Igdir, Istanbul. In these 3 warehouses, we provide 100% of our energy consumption from GES. The total power of GES in our Batman, Istanbul and Igdir warehouses was 2.23 MW. With the solar energy system, which produces equivalent to the annual energy consumption of a thousand households, we have achieved a total annual reduction of 1,426 tons in carbon emissions, while gaining 30,000 trees. Installation is planned on the roofs of a total of 14 warehouses. In this way, we aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Can you tell us about your annual energy consumption? What percentage of your annual consumption do you produce with solar power plant? Our total electricity consumption in 2020 was 445,310,000 kWh. We have produced 429,000 kWh of energy in Batman Roof SPP, our first project that has completed a year. With the projects we plan to commission by the end of the year, we plan to produce 10,320,000 kWh of energy annually. This corresponds to 2% of our total consumption for now.

Have you received support for the turnkey setup service of the project? How did your paths cross and what kind of project did you develop together? We had a research process before the project. A significant part of our research was in terms of material selection and determination of EPC companies. We have determined the companies according to the criteria that they have a considerable MW installation experience, which has been operating in the sector for many years. These companies were mainly found from fairs, conferences and energy sector platforms.

Can you briefly mention the technical equipment and features you use in the project? How many panels were used? What criteria did you pay attention to in the selection of products? Our first project, Batman warehouse Roof GES, used a 275 W poly crystal panel and our next two projects, a 400W mono crystal panel in Arnavutköy and Igdir. A total of 5,910 panels were used in our three projects. In product selections, we evaluate current technologies, panel efficiencies and products that reach high installed power, which are used intensively in GES plants. One of our most important criteria for PV panels was that they reached at least 10 MW installed power. By participating in the production processes of the panels, we intervene at all stages of the process. We prefer internationally recognized high-tech products in inverter and construction, which are the other 2 important materials of GES projects.

What is the investment cost of the project? How long do you aim for the project to pay for itself? We anticipate that our 3 projects will pay the investment cost within 4-5 years. With rising energy prices, we think these times will come back a little bit.

What kind of method do you follow regarding Energy Monitoring? Can you tell us about your work? In our GES plants, we perform full-time monitoring via inverters. We are able to quickly respond to possible problems at the plant. We are working on systems that can be carried out from a single center with the number of plants that will increase in the future.

What are your goals for sustainability? Can you tell us about your new term goals and projects? As the first representative of the high discount model in Turkey, Bİm is always committed to moving forward with its sustainability approach and to produce common value for its stakeholders. This philosophy of Bİm, which undertakes an important social mission with its "low price every day" policy, principle of reflecting the savings obtained from costs to product prices and lean business model, also reflects the basis of the sustainability approach.

In our daily operations, we put the interests of our customers above short-term high profits and we take care of the interests of humanity and future generations in line with the understanding of sustainability. Bİm, which has kept its social responsibilities at the highest level since its establishment, defends its value and result-oriented sustainability approach and does not see sustainability as a marketing and advertising activity. We carry out our communication activities in this regard in order to contribute to social awareness. While adopting the sustainability strategy, we produce and implement strategies within the scope of the field of activity where we can use our concrete, impact-oriented, operational capabilities in the most efficient way. We aim to contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) taking into account our field of activity, business model and corporate culture.

Within the scope of the business model; it makes high-quality products accessible, contributes to household purchasing power with its low price policy every day successfully implemented thanks to effective cost management, encourages responsible purchasing and production, and serves its customers at the closest points to be accessible.

Bİm Sustainability Understanding explains the company's vision and focus on sustainability in line with its business model. I can state these things as follows; We set out to make high quality accessible to the community. With strict cost control management; Every day we carry quality products and services to all segments of society with our stores with low price policy, purchasing and operation power. We work to increase the happiness of customers with our innovative products. 1. BiM manages the value chain responsiously. We manage our operations efficiently and responsibly throughout the value chain. While promoting the development of our suppliers by adopting high standards, we aim to increase their competencies by investing in our employees, which is the most important link in the chain. 2. Biİm works with the goal of a livable environment. We care about the responsible use of natural resources for a livable environment. We focus on energy efficiency and invest in renewable energy to combat climate change. Within the scope of waste management, we aim to reduce packaging and food waste. As a result of sustainable packaging studies to date, we have prevented the annual consumption of 40 tons of plastic and 49 tons of paper. 3. Bİm provides sustainable growth with strong corporate governance. Within the scope of corporate governance, we take care of the interests of all our stakeholders together with our investors and aim to create value for them. Thanks to our strong corporate governance, it makes our financial performance sustainable; we adopt transparent and ethical business approach with effective risk management.


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