The first Żabka Eko Smart store in Poland, combining ecology with technology and powered by 100% renewable energy, opened in Poznan
The facility is equipped with a wide range of smart and eco-friendly innovations, including perovskite cells-powered kinetic sun breakers and PESL (Perovskite Electronic Shelf Labels) – groundbreaking photovoltaic solutions provided by Saule Technologies.
Being a fully renewable energy-powered convenience store that synthesizes technology, ecology and functionality, thus enabling increased usability while caring for the environment. Incorporating a range of innovative solutions, the new Żabka Eko Smart becomes one of the most technologically-advanced convenience stores in the world.
“– We constantly support franchisees with many tools that make running a business easier. Żabka Eko Smart is packed with innovative technological solutions based on artificial intelligence that cooperate with the store staff. They ‘communicate’ with the franchisee and sellers and “perform” some activities in the facility. Flood sensors, automatic temperature measurement in the store, and energy consumption measurement free their time, allow them to focus on customer service, and at the same time are friendly to the planet.
This is another step in the implementation of the franchise-centric strategy, according to which Żabka creates innovative solutions that help entrepreneurs run a local business, additionally doing it in the most environmentally friendly way. (…) Thanks to officials’ openness to innovations and pro-ecological solutions, our clients, the Żabka Eko Smart franchisee and its employees can test our ideas in practice”, said Adam Manikowski, Managing Director at Żabka Polska.
photo 1: Żabka Eko Smart in Poznań, with Saule Technologies sun breakers on the elevation of the building. Picture courtesy of Żabka Poland.
Inkjet-printed perovskite cells are a breakthrough photovoltaic solution for a number of reasons; one of them is an ability to generate energy from both sunlight and artificial light – allowing for skilled green energy recycling and application even in the indoor areas where the traditional silicon-based solar cells stand no chance. Additionally, their lightness and flexibility open a whole new range of possible applications.
Both enterprises, Żabka Poland and Saule Technologies, put great value in caring for the environment, innovation and sustainability. Taking the unmatched potential of the perovskite technology in consideration it is to no surprise that the perovskite-cell-based solutions appeared to be a perfect match for the franchise’s latest and most technologically-advanced project.
photo 2: PESL (Perovskite Electronic Shelf Labels) price tag by Saule Technologies installed in the Żabka Eko Smart store. Picture courtesy of Żabka Poland.
photo 3: Perovskite sun breakers by Saule Technologies installed on the Żabka Eko Smart store. Picture courtesy of Żabka Poland.
“– Such an ambitious goal as a radical reduction in energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions requires the use of breakthrough technologies. We are glad that Saule Technologies can effectively support Żabka in the implementation of its sustainable development strategy. Our perovskite photovoltaic cells have many unique advantages. Thanks to their high efficiency in artificial light, they can power price labels, which is a revolutionary solution not only because of energy savings.”, explained Olga Malinkiewicz, CTO and Co-Founder of Saule Technologies.
“No less important is the saving of staff time and the possibility of multiple, remote changes in product prices, which will allow for more effective sales of food products whose shelf life is about to expire. This helps prevent unnecessary food waste. In turn, the flexibility of Saule Technologies perovskite cells, printed on foil, very thin and light, allows them to be integrated, for example, with blinds, which was also used by Żabka.”, she added.
photo 4: CTO Olga Malinkiewicz with Saule Technologies sun breakers installation on Żabka Eko Smart in Poznań. Picture courtesy of Żabka Poland.
The unique, pro-ecological and smart technologies implemented in cooperation with 14 (majorly Polish) companies in Żabka Eko Smart do correspond with the five key areas of focus – green energy, second life, clean air, green transportation and smart solutions.
Green energy: The energy used by Żabka Eko Smart in Poznań comes, as mentioned above, 100% from renewable sources. In addition to the innovative perovskite photovoltaic solutions delivered by Saule Technologies: a kinetic sun-breakers installation and PESL shelf labels, the store is equipped with energy-saving refrigerators insulated with hemp mats (a fully biodegradable alternative to commonly used polyurethane foam), special glycol freezer shelves, 15 solar panels on the roof and a solar phone-charging bench installed in front of the store.
Second life: The wall next to the coffee machine was covered with tiles made of coffee grounds and husks, which are waste generated at the stage of coffee roasting and brewing, combined with resin. EKOmat, i.e. a device for collecting bottles and beverage cans, can be found in the store, too. Waste collected in this way will be used to create new packaging for Żabka’s private label products, which have a 33% lower carbon footprint than traditional packaging. Żabka did not forget about the franchisee and his employees, for whom T-shirts made of 100% organic cotton, dyed with ecological, certified dyes, were prepared.
Clean air: To reduce the amount of dust and harmful substances released into the atmosphere, one of the walls of the building where Żabka Eko Smart is located was covered with plants. They not only produce oxygen but also absorb dust and harmful compounds from the air. In total, 532 plants were planted in 280 pots. The effect of eliminating harmful substances will be additionally strengthened by the anti-smog paving stone placed next to the building, which – compared to asphalt – reduces the concentration of nitrogen oxides in the air by approx. 50% on average.
Green transportation: The network does not forget about cyclists either. A bicycle stand allows the Żabka Eko Smart customers to safely leave their bikes in front of the shop, and the bicycle repair station located next to the facility allows them to quickly adjust the brakes and gears, inflate the wheels, and make emergency repairs.
Smart solutions: The smart solutions applied in the store “communicate” with the franchisee and sellers and perform some activities automatically. Thanks to the sound system, the store staff receives messages regarding a possible failure or information about situations requiring human intervention, such as the lack of coffee in the coffee machine. As part of the Smart Shop Control and Hybrid System, thanks to appropriate sensors, the temperature in the store is automatically adjusted to the current weather conditions, the measurement of energy consumption and inter-system integration allows you to verify the correct operation of devices, and flood sensors will detect refrigeration equipment defects, as a result lowering costs and reducing store downtime.
See the listed solutions in action in the official Żabka Eko Smart video presentation by an amazing Paweł Orleański:
video 1: ONE & ONLY. ŻABKA EKO SMART – SAULE / POZNAŃ, POLAND. source: Saule Technologies, YouTube.
Applying and testing the innovations in Żabka Eko Smart aligns with the Żabka Group‘s Responsibility Strategy, one of the main areas of which is care for the natural environment, including achieving climate neutrality by the end of 2025 and reducing the emission intensity in stores by 70% by the end of 2026, as well as increasing the franchisees’ satisfaction level regarding the cooperation with the network. In addition, the solutions aim at improving the work of the franchise itself and increasing the comfort of customers and employees while promoting an ecological mindset within and outside the facility.
Many thanks to Żabka Polska for the trust and fruitful cooperation on this project. It is an honour to support the fastest-evolving chain of convenience stores in the Polish market in the green transformation. Furthermore, we hope more entities follow in Żabka’s footsteps toward a greener, cleaner, more sustainable future.