Coop: how to engage employees in saving energy?


Saving energy is not just good for the environment it can be a great financial business case. Coop is currently showing best practice in this field as the corporation is implementing a grand and ambitious energy saving project. They want to decrease the total energy consumption with 20% by 2020 and in Relesys we are beyond proud to see how they use the app to engage their employees in the process.

Coop has an energy usage equivalent to 100.000 households. Saving energy on such a large scale requires a lot of technical know-how, but there is far more to this project than technology. It is just as much about getting every employee on-board the boat and engaged in the journey. That leaves us with the question: How do you engage employees in the subject of energy?

Turning things upside down

We have talked to Kira Toft, Project Leader of Energy Management in Coop, about how they implement their app as an important tool for the project.

“We know most people think energy is a quite boring subject, but we wanted to take on the challenge and show that it doesn’t have to be boring. We want to engage our employees in the project with content that is informative, engaging and even entertaining from time to time,” says Kira Toft Schmidt.

Coop is the biggest retail cooperation in Denmark with 40.000 employees. Keeping track of the energy is a big task and is spread out on a lot of people. That has naturally led to the knowledge being dispersed in different positions and departments.

“A big part of the project for us has been to make an overview and collect all the knowledge in one platform. We wanted to communicate bottom-up and open up for ideas and feedback from every employee,” says Kira Toft Schmidt.

Feeding positive energy

Relesys has initially provided an employee app for one of Coop’s chains; Irma. The Irma App has a specially designed energy module with news, videos, quizzes and competitions that are all linked to the energy project. We have talked to Jon Cramer and Chris Hansen, who both work in Irma, to get a hands-on perspective on what it’s like to work with the project through the app.

”The app helps make it clear for all employees that energy is something we are focusing on in Coop. It makes you think about how much energy we actually use on things that seem really small and irrelevant and show us that we can make adjustments in our own store to help reduce the total use of energy,” says Chris Hansen, Sales Assistant in Irma.

Coop has a wide range of employees and the store teams usually consist of full-timers, part-timers and student workers. They all work on different time schedules and don’t always get to share the knowledge they have in their own field. When we talked to John Cramer he was very focused on the benefits the app gave in terms of sharing tips on the same platform.

“We have a lot of young people working in Coop and most of them don’t have in depth knowledge of how to stack products in our coolers in a way that reduces the amount of energy we use. With the app we can share tips and tricks to help each other, not only in our own store but across the entire chain,” says John Cramer, Store Manager in Irma.

The energy module has been up and running in the Irma App for 3 months now and the data says it loud and clear – it’s a success!

8 out 10 employees are actively using the module to stay informed and involved in the project. What’s even better is, that the amount of energy that has already been saved in Coop is flourishing through a positive and engaged mindset in the cooperation. In Relesys we are so impressed by the way Coop is conquering the project and we are very proud to provide an app that is part of the ambitious journey.

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