Keene, NH - C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc. announced several initiatives to reduce the company's environmental footprint, including recycling and systems upgrades to make its buildings more energy efficient.
"Our efforts to recycle and to invest in energy efficient upgrades addresses the causes of global warming as well as impacts the environmental bottom line," said Rick Cohen Chairman and CEO. "We're proud of our progress and look forward to making more positive changes in the future," he said.
Highlights of the C&S environmental activities include:
Recycling Cardboard and Plastic:
Efforts to recycle cardboard and plastic in the past twelve months from 17 C&S facilities have resulted in diverting more than 80,000 tons of material from landfills. This has reduced the production of greenhouse gasses (carbon dioxide) by 26,000 tons. The reduction represents saving 193 acres of forest or taking 5,100 cars off the road. (Source: US EPA: http://www.usctcgateway.net/tool/)
Paper Recycling and Purchase:
In calendar year 2006, nearly 460,000 pounds of paper were recycled from the C&S facilities in New England alone. This is the equivalent of saving 3,903 mature trees or over 1.6 million gallons of water. Additionally, the company has just switched from using 10% post-consumer content office paper to 30% post-consumer content paper. According to environmental impact estimates made using the Environmental Defense Paper Calculator (www.papercalculator.org), this will result in the equivalent of saving nearly 2,000 trees.
C&S has begun a program to increase the energy-efficiency of its distribution centers while at the same time improving the working environment for employees. Comprehensive lighting upgrades were completed recently at the company's facilities in Central Islip NY, North Hatfield MA, Windsor Locks CT and Suffield CT. In each location the old lighting systems were replaced with brand-new fluorescent light fixtures, featuring automatic controls to shut them off when not needed. This has already generated savings of almost 10 million kilowatt hours or enough energy to power 1,100 homes. It will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 5,000 tons, which is equivalent to planting 11,800 trees or removing 997 cars from the road.
In 2007, the company plans to expand lighting upgrades to include the Keene NH corporate headquarters and its distribution centers in Hawaii. These projects are expected to generate another 1.7 million kilowatt-hours of electricity savings, equivalent to 1,250 tons of carbon dioxide or saving 9 acres of forest.
C&S has done extensive testing of bio-diesel in its truck fleet. The mix of diesel fuel and vegetable oil performed very well, and the company plans to use it when economics permit. In addition, C&S has been evaluating a number of fuel treatment options that will make the fleet - - currently running on ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel - - cleaner and more efficient. Although this has the same carbon dioxide impact as traditional diesel, it considerably decreases sulfur dioxide emissions.
As a way to Think Globally - Act Locally, C&S will be rolling out its "Green Team" Program. The Green Team will help Associates to see the impacts of their simple actions - - leaving lights on or doors open, for example - - in the broader context of saving energy and the environment. By encouraging employees to change simple everyday behaviors and "Join the Green Team," C&S expects to save enough energy to reduce greenhouse gases by nearly 3,500 tons. The Green Team program will be also introduced later this spring at the company's Grand Union Family Markets stores. To focus on its stores in Northfield and Hardwick VT, Grand Union is collaborating with Efficiency Vermont on its "Community Energy Initiative." Efficiency Vermont is a nonprofit organization that is the nation's first statewide provider of energy efficiency services.
Download this press release (pdf 49.43)