December 21, 2022

SONAE Case Study


SONAE MC is one of the largest companies in Portugal. Leader in the Food Retail market and recognized as one of the national references in terms of continuous growth in the last decades.

This level can only be reached through a daily effort to be better than yesterday and it was on this premise that BioCity started its relationship with SONAE MC.

The beginning

In 2013, when we started conversations with SONAE, monitoring and management control was very different. Digital management tools were more complex, with low level of automation and databases did not allow the agility of today. On the other hand, monitoring tools and equipment were almost non-existent: Few options, little diversity and at a very high cost.

However, it is exactly at this time, after an acute crisis that demanded, that management control starts to develop new ideals and new tools to deconstruct businesses and make them more efficient and balanced.


It is then that SONAE MC presents us with their desire to find a way to harmonize consumption between stores. After several analyses, they understood that there had to be a reason for a significant and not stable difference between the more than 150 stores (at the time) and that it was necessary to reduce consumption in the stores.

The First Step


After several conversations, we found an ideal model. We proposed to SONAE MC an intensive consultancy in 6 stores, with an in-depth analysis of consumption – its variations, critical locations, critical human processes, water installations – and a global water saving proposal for each store.

An intensive work, which had as its premise what we still practice today throughout the country: We can only save if we measure. We can only really save if we know how to work in the field.

We know that there are those who promise miraculous solutions, without leaving the office, but experience has shown us that only by knowing the system perfectly on site, can we give real opinions about how it works.


The action in the 6 stores was a success. Significant savings at the end of the first year and considerable improvements in process harmonization put an end to the giant variations from month to month.

(For those who saw our founder’s goal on the Social Responsibility page: We have taken our first significant step towards saving 3% of the national water consumption!)

With the excellent results achieved, we reached an agreement with SONAE MC and Biocity started to perform Energy Consultancy in all stores in the country. Let’s Go!




The responsibility and efficiency of our work and the vision of our customer, lead us to reach in 2023 the mark of 10 years of intensive work to maintain stable and responsible consumption in all stores of the group. And we are very proud of the sense of social responsibility that this partnership creates on a daily basis.

In 2016, to reach even further, we decided to tackle two more objectives: leak prevention and consumption harmonization. And that’s how we started monitoring water consumption in all our stores throughout the country.

And so we continue.


A well done management control hands over your biggest concerns to a specialist. And that is how this partnership has saved the world and the customer more than 1,000,000 m3 of water.

It is necessary to know the objectives, but above all it is necessary to understand – understand the consumption, to know the equipment, to know the processes and to know the people. And that is what BioCity is committed to: To do an intensive and dedicated work for each customer.


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In this article:
We show how we helped SONAE MC to harmonize water consumption in all stores.