LuLu Group is planning to upgrade its transport fleet in Qatar with electric vehicles (EVs) as part of its "green strategy" and sustainability efforts, a top official told Gulf Times.
“To become net zero, the next focus will be on alternative energy sources to fuel our operations, including solar. We are also looking at electrifying our fleet, as well as our supply chain," Dr Mohamed Althaf, director of LuLu Group International, said in an exclusive interview.
“We are already using a very complex algorithm so that we don’t waste our transportation space: for every container that we bring in, we make sure that transport will be optimised,” he explained.
Dr Althaf also stressed that LuLu Group will prioritise energy-efficient options when procuring equipment. It is also looking at phasing out old vehicles and focusing on end-of-life product management.
“From this year, we have already put a policy that for anything we buy in 2023, we will look for the electric options first. And then, moving forward, we will phase out whatever old legacy vehicle system that we have.
“Also, we want to start reaching out to our own suppliers and stakeholders and ask them where we can work together, either by helping them make their supply chain carbon-neutral or energy efficient. We are exploring ways to do that. We are planning to install EV charging stations in our new outlets and later on in our old stores,” Dr Althaf explained.
He further explained that LuLu Group will continue innovating its existing stores to ensure that even old branches will maintain energy efficiency during operations, citing the 18-year-old Al Khor branch.
“I always have the empirical data, which shows what we can do. Another strategy is end-of-life product management. Because some of our stores are very old, we want to make sure that our chillers and freezers don’t have any negative impact. How do we extend the life cycle and how do we make them more energy efficient are among the other projects in the pipeline,” Dr Althaf emphasised.
He added: “What is significant about our Al Messila branch is that we retrofitted a seven-year-old building. Similarly, Al Meshaf store was a regular-looking building, which was operational for the last five years.
“Whereas for all the new stores that we have announced, we have already incorporated sustainability principles in the design stage. And more importantly, we are utilising IoT to achieve energy efficiency, thus making these stores cutting-edge.”
Dr Mohamed Althaf, director of LuLu Group International