SUPERVALU INC., one of the nation’s largest grocery retailers and wholesalers, announced that it has joined the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge, which aims to engage building operators nationwide in improving energy efficiency by 20 percent by 2020. The announcement was made by President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton during a leadership event attended by Craig Herkert, SUPERVALU chief executive officer and president, this morning in Washington, D.C.
“Reducing our energy footprint and creating a more thoughtful and sustainable operation are important priorities, and we will continue to test innovative ways to build our stores with future generations in mind,” said Herkert. “These projects are good for the environment, improve our operating efficiency and create jobs – ultimately benefiting the communities we serve.”
SUPERVALU, which operates more than 78 million square feet of retail and distribution centerspace, has had a longstanding and aggressive commitment to environmental sustainability. The company invested $20 million in energy efficiency initiatives this year alone resulting in over 1,300 projects across its enterprise.
Creating the Grocery Store of the Future
In order to achieve its energy and carbon reduction goals, and support its commitment to the Better Buildings Challenge, SUPERVALU will continue to invest in innovative energyefficiency projects.
SUPERVALU has been working over the past five years to reduce total carbon emissions by 10 percent and landfill waste by 50 percent and is on track to reach those milestones by the end of 2012.
Through cutting-edge technologies, the company is engineering breakthrough projectssuch as the nation’s first low-carbon, ammonia refrigeration system at an Albertsons store it is remodeling in Carpinteria, Calif. This is an important pilot project in SUPERVALU’s efforts to build a model for the “grocery store of the future.”
Since 2008, SUPERVALU has completed 4,500 energy reduction projects, including:
· Lighting upgrades – LED, retrofit of existing frozen food lights, spot lights in produce, parking lot lighting retrofits
· Refrigerator and freezer alarm systems to notify employees if doors are left open
· New and retrofitted refrigerated dairy and deli cases with doors
· Fuel cells in several of its stores to serve as the primary energy provider to that location
· Development of nine LEED stores throughout the country and one nationally recognized Green Store in Chestnut Hill, Mass.
Earlier this year,SUPERVALU announced plans to transition 40 stores to zero waste operations during the company’s current fiscal year ending Feb. 25, 2012, building on the success of the company’s two zero waste stores in Santa Barbara, Calif. Through its sustainability efforts, SUPERVALU also reduced garbage expenses by 12.6percent in its fiscal year ending February 2011 and recycling revenues exceeded landfill waste expenses for the first time.
“I am honored to attend today’s event and thrilled at our ongoing efforts around environmental stewardship,” said Herkert. “We appreciate the leadership shown by the Obama Administration and the Clinton Global Initiative and are committed to leading our industry through ongoing investments in projects that create energy efficient stores, offices and distribution centers.”
The Better Buildings Challenge is a leadership initiative launched in February by President Obama. It is spearheaded by former President Clinton and the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness to support job creation by catalyzing private sector investment in commercial and industrial building energy upgrades to make America’s buildings 20 percent more efficient over the next decade, reducing energy costs for American businesses by nearly $40 billion.