Kroger Expands Commitment to Environmental Sustainability

Cincinnati — According to its recently released 2015 Sustainability Report, Kroger has reduced overall energy consumption in its stores by 35%. The company saved 2.4 billion kWh of power, which is the carbon equivalent of taking 334,000 cars off the road for a year.

With the help of Energy Star, Kroger benchmarks building energy performance, assesses energy management goals over time, and identifies strategic opportunities for savings. Kroger currently has 675 Energy Star certified stores. In December 2014, Kroger was named an Elite Member of ENERGY STAR Certification Nation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Kroger was the only grocery retailer granted Elite Member certification status, which was granted to organizations that earned ENERGY STAR certification for at least 150 buildings in 2014. The company utilizes a variety of practices to increase energy efficiency, employing technology such as LED lights, skylights and control systems — as well as engaging store associates in energy savings initiatives. 

In addition to Energy Star, Kroger joined U.S. EPA’s GreenChill program in 2014, an EPA partnership effort with food retailers to reduce refrigerant emissions and decrease their impact on the ozone layer and climate change.

Kroger also has two wind energy turbines. Located at the Turkey Hill Dairy in Lancaster, Pa., the turbines supplied up to 25% of the dairy’s annual electricity needs during the third full year of operation.

Five Kroger stores have approximately 600 kW of solar energy capacity and produce nearly 750,000 kWh per year. The newest solar array is in Los Alamos, N.M., which opened earlier in 2015.

Other highlights in the report include:

• Fry’s Power Parasol generated an estimated 1 million kWh of clean renewable energy in its first full year of operation and is now examining the feasibility of other installations.

• Smith’s® Food & Drug Stores’ second largest rooftop mounted system in Utah, at its main distribution center in Layton, will produce 1.8 million kWhs of clean electricity annually and cover a quarter of the plant’s energy, reducing energy production needs by 20% to 25% per year.

• Kroger is moving its facilities toward “zero waste” and has set a goal of meeting and exceeding the EPA’s “zero waste” threshold of 90% in all facilities.

• Last year, the company’s manufacturing plants reduced the amount of waste sent to landfills by 1.3 million pounds. In addition, these plants recycled more than 307 million pounds of material.

Kroger, one of the world’s largest retailers, has 2,631 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 34 states and the District of Columbia under two dozen local banner names including Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, Harris Teeter, Jay C, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith’s. The company also operates 783 convenience stores, 325 fine jewelry stores, 1,293 supermarket fuel centers and 37 food processing plants in the U.S.

SOURCE: Green Retail Decisions; Kroger

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