Decarbonization as a Tremendous Opportunity

In a world where sustainable practices and carbon footprint tracking are becoming the norm, businesses face new challenges.

In a world where sustainable practices and carbon footprint tracking are becoming the norm, businesses face new challenges. While some struggle to adapt, others seize these challenges as opportunities for growth. Take Gondella, a seasoned manufacturer of retail shelving systems, now pioneering photovoltaic and energy management initiatives.

How is Gondella Embracing Decarbonization?

"When we first entered these markets, building customer trust and history was challenging. That's why we adopted a dynamic strategy, aligning closely with what retail chains prioritize today," explains Dalibor Bosák, General Director of Gondella in the Czech Republic.

Initially, Gondella tried integrating technologies to attract customers by offering real-time inventory tracking and personalized advertising. However, the market response was tepid. This led to a pivotal conversation with Billa, which introduced Gondella to its long-term sustainability plans and commitments to climate neutrality. "This made us rethink what we could offer—not just to survive economically but to take on a part of the sustainability responsibility," Bosák adds.

The Shift to a Sustainable Business Model

Gondella realized that Billa wasn't alone in its sustainability goals. "The legislation is pushing for decarbonization, so why not use this as an opportunity to differentiate ourselves in the market?" Gondella's first move was to get their products certified for safety, achieving some of the highest levels of TÜV SÜD certification—a distinction few can claim.

They then capitalized on a pilot project with Albert supermarkets, where they had been repairing used shelves. Previously seen as a burden, Gondella discovered that repairing shelves was economically viable and led to the creation of a new renovation division that supports their manufacturing line. "We focus on reducing waste, both in our operations and in our customers' experiences, and we present it as such," says Bosák.

Market Response and Future Plans

The strategy has resonated well, proven by the excitement at a recent Retail Summit, where retailers inquired if Gondella could also renovate products from other manufacturers. Gondella employs a hybrid model—supplying new products for new stores and renovating original shelves in existing stores.

As for the sustainability of their operations, Gondella has taken significant steps. "In 2021, we experienced a real challenge when our fixed energy prices ended during a geopolitical crisis, leading to an 11-fold increase in energy costs," Bosák recounts. This prompted the installation of a 400 kWp photovoltaic system, with plans to expand by an additional 700 kWp. These steps are projected to cover about 50% of their annual energy consumption.

The Role of Energy Management

"Measuring means knowing. Until now, we weren't measuring," Bosák notes. Gondella is now implementing energy management systems to strategically plan their next steps, including measuring their own carbon footprint and that of their parent plant in Belgium.

"This approach aligns with our headquarters' philosophy. Our vehicles are hybrid or electric, unique in our region," Bosák highlights. As retail chains commit to carbon neutrality, Gondella anticipates these sustainability efforts will not only meet but drive customer expectations, reflecting a profound shift towards a greener future.

Collaborating with Enmon has been a game-changer for us. Their sophisticated energy management solutions have not only enhanced our operational efficiency but also propelled our sustainability initiatives to new heights.
Dalibor Bosák
General Director

Three facts about

Gondella as market leader

Gondella has been a prominent supplier in the European market for over 60 years and expanded to Central and Eastern Europe in 1997.

Sustainable shift

Under new management since three years ago, Gondella shifted focus from pure manufacturing to also succeeding in retail spaces across multiple regions.

Sustainability as a business model

Gondella has embraced sustainability as a core component of their business model, innovating with a renovation division that supports their manufacturing operations and significantly reduces waste.

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