Guest post contributed by Joe Berman, Environmental Certification Specialist, LEED AP BD&C
As Earth Day approaches, we want share with you what we are doing to be a leader in environmental sustainability. We are always looking at ways to improve our stores, reduce our energy consumption and packaging, increase recycling, and decrease our demand for fossil fuels. We are also evaluating our organic waste stream, expanding our sustainable seafood program, engaging local farmers, optimizing our distribution network, integrating renewable resource energy, and evaluating state of the art high efficiency technologies. We are beginning to envision how we would like to grow our sustainability efforts in the future and how we can best serve our customers, community, and the world.
- For the past 4 years, Price Chopper has mandated that all new ground up construction at Price Chopper will achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. LEED is a set of performance standards overseen by the United States Green Building Council that establish, recognize and certify best management practices in the field of environmentally sustainable design, engineering and construction. As of this year, Price Chopper has 3 LEED certified projects with another 10 registered with the United States Green Building Council.
- Price Chopper was recently named by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as one of the top 20 largest retail purchasers of renewable energy after recently becoming a USEPA Green Power Partner. Price Chopper has purchased 3.44% of our overall energy consumption or a total of 12,000MegaWattHours in the form of renewable wind power RECs or (renewable energy credits). The utilization of this renewable energy offset is equivalent to the mitigation of 5995 tons of CO2 or the emissions of 1000 average American homes annually or almost 2000 passenger vehicles per year.
- Price Chopper opened a resource recovery facility in 1991 which takes recyclable materials from all our stores for processing at a centralized facility. Materials are separated, broken down, and/or bailed as appropriate and sold on the international commodities market as post consumer raw materials for new products. At our facility, we processed and recycled 81,793,733 lbs of material in just 2011 alone!
- At numerous locations, waste accumulated from “trimming” is broken down through a bio-hydrator process, which reduces the organics to grey water or compost and eliminates waste from being transported over land and disposed of in landfills.
- Reduction in the distance from farm to fork is something that Price Chopper has actively encouraged for many years through our partnerships with more than 75 Farmers in the Northeast. Locally produced food requires less fossil fuel to transport and supports the local economy. Right now Price Chopper sells more than 75 different products sourced from farms within the region.
These are just some of the things that we do to recycle more, consume less, and minimize our environmental impact. This Earth Day and every day we are focused on becoming a more responsible and engaged corporate citizen and member of your community. Our Team at Price Chopper is inspired by changing times and steadfast values that call upon us to act in the name of a better future, not just for today and tomorrow, but for generations to come!