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KEENE, N.H. -- C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc. here said Friday it has begun several initiatives to reduce the distributor's environmental footprint. Among the programs the company has implemented are 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 C&S chairman and c.e.o. Rick Cohen.
Among the company's eco-friendly moves are the diverting of over 80,000 tons of material from landfills, recycling almost 460,000 pounds of paper were recycled during 2006 from the New England alone, and a changeover from using 10 percent post-consumer content office paper to 30 percent post-consumer content paper.
Additionally, C&S has kicked off a program to enhance the energy efficiency of its distribution centers while also improving the working environment for employees. The company recently made comprehensive lighting upgrades at its facilities in Central Islip N.Y.; North Hatfield, Mass.; Windsor Locks, Conn.; and Suffield, Conn. In each location the old lighting systems gave way to fluorescent light fixtures with automatic controls to shut them off when not needed. This switch has already resulted in savings of nearly 10 million kilowatt hours and will lower greenhouse gas emissions by over 5,000 tons.
This year the company plans to upgrade the lighting at corporate headquarters in Keene and DCs in Hawaii. These projects are expected to lead to another 1.7 million kilowatt-hours of electricity savings.
C&S has performed extensive testing of biodiesel (a mixture of diesel fuel and vegetable oil) in its truck fleet, with positive results, leading the company to plan for the use of biodiesel when economics permit. In addition, the company has been evaluating several fuel treatment options that will make for a cleaner and more efficient fleet.
Another program C&S will launch is the "Green Team," which will help associates to understand the energy-wasting effects of such actions as leaving lights on or doors open. By encouraging employees to change wasteful behavior, C&S aims to save enough energy to reduce greenhouse gases by almost 3,500 tons. The program will be also introduced later this spring at the company's Grand Union Family Markets stores, and Grand Union's Northfield and Hardwick Vt. locations will join with nonprofit organization Efficiency Vermont on its "Community Energy Initiative." Efficiency Vermont is the United States' first statewide provider of energy-efficiency services.
C&S, the seventh-largest privately held company in the United States according to Forbes magazine, provides distribution services to grocery chains and independent stores, delivering to more than 5,000 locations from its distribution centers in Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, South Carolina, Alabama, California, and Hawaii.