PITTSBURGH — Supermarket retailer Giant Eagle, Inc. today celebrated the receipt of a Green Grocer award from the supermarket industry’s Progressive Grocer magazine. Retailers selected by Progressive Grocer include only a select few supermarkets that have demonstrated highly innovative projects or efforts to help the industry as a whole become more environmentally responsible. Award winners are being recognized at Progressive Grocers’ Corporate Social Responsibility Awards, held on Tuesday, Nov. 3 in Phoenix.
“Being named a Green Grocer underscores Giant Eagle’s commitment to environmental responsibility across all areas of our business from recycling to store construction,” said Giant Eagle Senior Vice President of Real Estate Shelly Sponholz. “We see our efforts in the area of environmental stewardship as part of how we serve the communities in which we operate and we are honored by this recognition.”
“’Corporate responsibility’ is a term that can be overused -- or even overlooked -- but our editorial staff is very fortunate to have an opportunity to continually learn about industry-leading companies that are not only dedicated to serving their communities, but are also focused on being outstanding global citizens,” explained Michelle Moran, Editor-in-Chief of Progressive Grocer. “For this reason, we are both pleased and proud to honor Giant Eagle’s exemplary commitment and focus on environmental sustainability efforts,” added Moran.
Giant Eagle maintains the company's green commitment through energy management, recycling initiatives and community environmental outreach. Last year, Giant Eagle recycled more than 92 million pounds of materials — consisting of cardboard, film plastic, mixed office paper, and meat and cooking byproducts — and sold and encouraged customer use of reusable bags at every store.
This year marked the fourth year in a row Giant Eagle was recognized by the U.S. EPA for its energy conservation efforts with an ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award.
In addition to building the world’s first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified supermarket in 2004 in Brunswick, Oh., and being awarded in 2008 the first-ever Gold LEED award in the "New Construction" category for its New Albany supermarket in Columbus, Oh., the company has continued to incorporate sound environmental features into all of its new construction and remodeled stores.
These environmentally-friendly store features can include:
- Naturally beautiful light — integrated with the electrical lights, to deliver daylight to the store while offering a consistent lighting level and minimizing electricity usage;
- Fresh air — air quality sensors constantly monitor for carbon dioxide to ensure fresh, clean air throughout the store. Air quality is improved by the use of adhesives, sealants, paints, carpeting and wood products that are low in volatile organic compounds;
- Water conservation — parking lot landscaping has been planted with drought-tolerant vegetation that requires no irrigation;
- Water retention – a retention pond holds excess water, preventing it from contributing to the storm water peak flows that affect many natural rivers and streams;
- Greater energy savings — green energy sources provide stores with the capability to consume 20% less energy than comparable, conventionally designed supermarkets;
- Use less heating and cooling — increased insulation, reflective roofing, and day lighting help the store save energy year round;
- Cleaner atmosphere — stores use no-ozone-depleting refrigerants in refrigeration and cooling systems;
- Recycling and recycled materials — a majority of construction waste, such as steel and drywall, is sent to various companies for reuse, and nearly all wood used is harvested from sustainable resources. All cabinetry is free of urea formaldehyde and all gypsum wallboard is made from 10% recycled materials. Nearly all food by products, such as cooking oil and trimmings, are transformed into other areas including bio-diesel fuel, animal feed, and lubricants.
Across all of its stores, Giant Eagle currently buys more than 17 million kilowatt-hours of wind power annually as a member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Green Power Partnership. Additionally, the U.S. EPA's GreenChill Advanced Refrigeration Partnership recognized Giant Eagle® earlier this year for having one of the two lowest refrigerant emissions within the program's membership.
About Giant Eagle
Giant Eagle Inc., ranked 39 on Forbes magazine’s largest private corporations list and recipient of Grocery Headquarters’ 2007 Retailer of the Year Award and the EPA’s ENERGY STAR Retail Partner of the Year Award, is one of the nation’s largest food retailers and food distributors with approximately $8.2 billion in annual sales. Founded in 1931, Giant Eagle, Inc. has grown to be the number one supermarket retailer in the region with 160 corporate and 60 independently owned and operated supermarkets in addition to 153 fuel and convenience stores throughout western Pennsylvania, Ohio, north central West Virginia and Maryland.
November 3, 2009