Supporting John Lewis Partnership to meet its sustainability goals – high quality data for a high quality partnership

The Customer

John Lewis Partnership (JLP) is a household name in the UK, and a byword for quality. The company is best-known for its network of department stores and supermarkets under the Waitrose and John Lewis brands, however it also operates a portfolio of distribution centres, offices and also hotels, a rural estate and a farm.

As the country’s largest employee-owned business JLP has always been deeply invested in ethics and responsibility. Today, that translates into ambitious sustainability targets, including net zero carbon emissions by 2035 (scope 1 & 2), and “an absolute energy reduction within the Partnership’s physical estate of 25% by 2028 from a 2018 baseline”.

The Challenge

JLP’s reputation for doing the right thing creates high expectations with regards to energy management – expectations the Partnership has every intention of meeting. To this end, JLP has invested in sophisticated energy management and carbon accounting platforms and is always on the look out for new strategic energy initiatives. 

All of this is dependent on accurate, timely and reliable information about their energy usage. 

However, the diversity and complexity of the estate makes this difficult. Not only does the company have a wide range of sites but the age profile of sites varies greatly too. Some stores may be in purpose-built new units, while others occupy old buildings with inherited and ageing meter infrastructure.

Never Knowingly Under-Informed 

Since 2010, IMServ has worked with JLP as its Data Collector and Meter Operator (MOp), supporting their entire metering infrastructure to provide accurate, timely and reliable half hourly meter data. IMServ’s expertise ensures that the Partnership benefits from industry-leading meter uptime, with fully cleansed and accurate half hourly data automatically feeding through to its energy management platforms on a 24/7 basis. IMServ’s expertise and collaborative approach means that the team can work together to solve challenges across the metering estate. A recent project focused on ensuring that meters installed in hard-to-reach areas and signal dead zones could still send data by using IMServ’s specialist knowledge to develop a fixed line solution to connect the meters so that data could still be received centrally. And on an ongoing basis, JLP and IMServ work closely together to manage the entire meter infrastructure, planning maintenance and replacement programmes to ensure that every meter is performing. By contracting directly with IMServ, rather than relying on metering services via their energy supplier, JLP is able to ensure that their energy data is delivered in a timely and accurate way, gain access to the specialist expertise within IMServ, and retain full control over their meter data and infrastructure. The Partnership also has increased flexibility in procuring their energy supply as they do not have to worry about de-appointing and reappointing metering agents every time they secure a new contract. The result is that the Partnership can manage its energy accurately and at a granular level, administer costs and billing effectively, and is able to drive innovation measures to help meet its sustainability goals. Neil Coleman, Energy Engineering & Innovation Manager at John Lewis Partnership, said “IMServ is a trusted partner of John Lewis Partnership. Having high quality and timely data from our energy metering is critical – we’ve got some quite sophisticated data platforms that we use for energy management and carbon and sustainability reporting, but without having the right data, at the right time, in the right format, those platforms won’t deliver what we need.  As a high energy user, keeping control of our costs and bills is also critical. IMServ enables us to manage our reconciliations and bills more easily, and their proactive approach means we can maintain the right level of data accuracy.  We are also always looking to new innovations and technologies to help us reduce our energy use, reduce our carbon intensity and drive greater sustainability across our estate – IMServ work closely with us to deliver the service we need.”