In celebration of Earth Day on April 22, The Stop & Shop Supermarket Co. is committed to minimizing its environmental impact with a renewed focus on being a responsible retailer. This includes offering products such as seafood, that are responsibly sourced, reducing the impact of our own operations, and helping customers to do their part in cutting down on waste. In addition, the company is committed to reducing its carbon footprint by 20% by 2015.
“From recycling initiatives to building sustainable stores, Stop & Shop continues to support meaningful, mutually beneficial partnerships that help bring green behavior into the workplace. We believe that the principles of Earth Day should be celebrated each and every day of the year,” said Don Sussman, President of Stop & Shop New York Metro Division.
Stop & Shop has launched a new “Sustainable Choice” program to help customers make an educated choice on products that are sustainable, safe, and responsibly produced. Beginning in the seafood department, a “Sustainable Choice” icon alerts customers to those seafood items that have been responsibly farmed or fished and are certified by a qualifying eco-label or are listed on the New England Aquarium’s Best Choices list. Seafood items that currently meet these criteria and are available at the fresh seafood case include Farmed Tilapia, Alaska Pollock, Alaska Sockeye Salmon, Pacific Cod and Previously Frozen Haddock. 12 oz. frozen pre-packaged items that are in Stop & Shop’s own brand include Alaskan Cod Fillet, Flounder Fillet, Skinless Haddock Fillet, Crispy Breaded Fish Fillet, Crispy Breaded Fish Sticks. Additional eligible seafood items and Stop & Shop own brand items will receive a Sustainable Choice icon over the next two years.
By 2020, Stop & Shop has also set a goal of getting to “Zero Waste”, which is defined as diverting 90% of waste going to landfills and incineration to other uses including the expansion of its organic recycling program and new opportunities for recycling cardboard and plastic. Organic recycling efforts include increasing consumable food donations, such as bakery items and frozen meat to regional food banks. Any food that cannot be donated is also being reused/recycled as livestock feed, composting or converted to electricity. Currently all Stop & Shop stores have the ability to have their organic material recycled or reused. Each pound of organic waste diverted for livestock feed, composting or electricity directly reduces the company’s contribution to landfills.
In an effort to further reduce waste in landfills, Stop & Shop is encouraging customers to remember to bring reusable bags with them each and every time they shop. In addition to being environmentally friendly, reusable bags are larger and fit more groceries than a traditional plastic grocery bag, lessening the number of bags needed. Last year, Stop & Shop saved approximately 15 million plastic and paper bags thanks to our customers who regularly shopped with reusable bags. The company is also working with cashiers and baggers to reduce the number of plastic and paper bags used, by ensuring they are properly filled and avoiding extra bags unnecessarily.
To mark Earth Day, Stop & Shop has introduced a special green reusable bag now available in all stores for a limited time. In addition, every time a customer shops using one or more reusable bags now through May 30th the customer will automatically be entered at the checkout to win free groceries for one year.
Stop & Shop NY Metro Division recently achieved another milestone in its commitment to building greener stores. The Arverne and Oceanside, NY stores have received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the national accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.
From the East End of Long Island to the shores of New Jersey, many Stop & Shop associates in the New York metro area are volunteering their time to help clean-up beaches, parks, playgrounds and areas affected by Hurricane Sandy. “Our ‘Green’ Store Captains and associates will also help educate customers on the benefits of recycling while several stores will provide recycling containers for customers to dispose of their unwanted belongings and prevent them ending up in landfills,” said Arlene Putterman, Manager of Public and Community Relations of Stop & Shop’s NY Metro Division. “Associates with a green thumb will celebrate Earth Day by helping with landscaping efforts including mulching and planting shrubs and plants.”