Energy efficiency is at the forefront of today’s equipment innovation as retailers place a growing importance on reducing their environmental foot- prints. This priority is evident in major etailers’ recent initiatives, such as Kro- ger’s Zero Hunger, Zero Waste program, which aims to eliminate waste across the company by 2025, and Walmart’s goal to
eliminate 1 gigaton worth of emissions by 2030.
However, it’s not only larger retailers that are
embarking on the green grocery journey; plenty
of smaller independent supermarkets are also
taking the plunge. For example, City Market
South End, a new Onion River Co-op-owned
grocery store in Burlington, Vt., is leading the
Grocers Go Green
Retailers are taking a systematic, whole-store
approach to energy efficiency. By Rebekah
Marcarelli, with contributions from Pan Demetrakakes
way in green refrigeration with its transcritical
C02 system, which uses CO2 instead of artificial refrigerants and has “zero global warming
potential,” according to Allison Hope, director
of community engagement.
City Market is the only store in the state of
Vermont to have completely switched over to
this system, and is the only co-op in the country
to do so, says Hope. Additionally, City Market
cuts down on energy by installing only LED
lights, many of which use motion sensors to
illuminate when a shopper is passing by and
fade when nobody is in the area.
Energy-efficiency efforts once focused
on specific projects, such as LED lighting conversions, says Don Newlon, VP
and GM of food retail for Emerson Commercial and Residential Solutions. But
grocers of all types now focus on overall
sustainability programs “as part of their
community and brand reputations.
“Retailers are more likely to consider
energy efficiency and sustainability as
a core operating principle,” he says.
Savings to the bottom
line that can be achieved
through upgrading to
Whole Foods has reduced
its environmental impact
with alternate refrigerant-based systems.