We are committed to acting as responsible stewards within our communities by adopting environmentally sustainable policies and practices – environmental concerns are essential to our decision making. And we are committed to helping everyone in our company understand the value of acting in an environmentally responsible way.
We generate a little more than 6,610 tons of food, paper and cardboard waste each year – a fact we don’t take lightly. Reducing that waste, as well as our energy and water usage, is at the top of our list when it comes to environmental stewardship.
Most recently, our newly remodeled market on Bainbridge Island was awarded LEED® Gold from the US Green Building Council (USGBC) for achievements in the remodel practices and materials, and ongoing operation of that market. LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – is a rating system developed by USGBC for buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance. For more on that story, see the market’s page.
In early 2013, we worked with a bioclean technology company to install a “WISErg Harvester” to collect and convert food scraps into a material that can be refined into organic fertilizer at the Mill Creek store (for more information, see the link below).
We’re diverting about 5,600 tons of that 6,610 tons from the landfill each year through composting, donating to local food banks and recycling our cardboard, plastics, glass and metals – that’s a diversion rate of about 85 percent. While that’s an improvement over the 40 percent diversion of several years ago, but we’re still working to meet our goal of 90 percent diversion.
Another part of our overall effort is ensuring the store buildings themselves reflect this core value. We recycle all project demolition materials when possible during a remodel or any new construction, and incorporate recycled-content materials in that work. We use low-VOC paint whenever possible and install skylights for natural lighting where the buildings are structurally compatible – artificial lighting is provided via dimmable, low-mercury, energy-efficient fixtures and lamps. Remote monitoring systems on refrigeration equipment at most of our stores alert us when a door is inadvertently left ajar. That not only prevents energy waste, it also ensures the integrity of the products via temperature and humidity control.
Our environmental value helps guide our choices of the products we offer and the partners with whom we work. By considering locally and regionally produce foods, organic foods and naturally raised meats, we strive to offer environmentally friendly choices for our customers. We work with our suppliers and partners to help reduce packaging and energy use. Read more for some of our achievements so far …