Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 222222
Loughborough University

Centre for Innovative and Collaborative Construction Engineering


Dr Sian Christina


Increasing energy efficiency through goal alignment in the workplace: a retail study (CLOSED ACCESS)

Project Title

Energy Behaviours within the Retail, Office and Distribution Environment




Professor Andrew Dainty
Dr Derek Thompson

Mr Richard Lee
Mr Craig McMurrough

Director of Research:
Professor Stephen Ison

Research Period

2010 - 2014

Energy Behaviours within the Retail, Office and Distribution Environment


Tesco have a company-wide programme to engage all staff in their UK business in energy reduction in order to support their vision of becoming the UK’s most energy efficient food retailer. Their aim is to embed the philosophy that 'Everyone at Tesco is an Energy Manager' through awareness initiatives supported with technologies. The focus of this project will be to establish where to focus efforts across the Tesco built asset portfolio. Likely areas for research include the psychology of budget setting and competition, as well as appropriate practices for incentivising staff in adopting energy reduction behaviours. A socio-technical systems perspective will be adopted in order to understand the interplay of technologies and human behaviour in shaping energy use. Although this research would primarily be concentrated in UK and Ireland, as a growing international business there is scope for a comparative study with their overseas businesses.

Aims and Objectives

To develop effective approaches for engaging Tesco staff in energy reduction which lead to demonstrable savings in energy use across their property portfolio.

  • To explore staff awareness and attitudes towards energy use
  • To examine how staff interact with buildings and the building energy management technology within them
  • To review the efficacy of Tesco’s existing methods and incentives for engaging staff in energy reduction initiatives both in the UK and abroad
  • To develop and field-test a set of prioritised initiatives for energy reduction which accord with the particular requirements of different parts of the business


Research methods are likely to include large scale surveys of staff behaviours and attitudes to energy usage, interviews and participant observation of staff interacting with buildings and energy management systems and workshops and focus groups with key staff groups. The research will deploy various psychology of change instruments to measure the propensity of employees towards more energy conscious behaviours from which change strategies could be derived.

Benefits/Expected Outcomes

As the UK’s largest retailer Tesco has a vast property portfolio which includes offices, distribution centres and retail stores. Reducing the energy consumption of these assets via an improved understanding of, and influence over staff behaviours is likely to yield major benefits for the company and to the UK as a whole.




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+44 (0)1509 222623

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Loughborough University
LE11 3TU

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