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Giant Eagle has achieved chain-wide implementation of the Grocery Stewardship Certification program, based on its commitment to incorporating operational sustainability best practices in stores, decreasing its environmental impact and saving resources. The Pittsburgh-based grocer has been working toward this goal since 2015.
Further, having previously received, in a pilot program, certification for a district comprising 25 stores, the supermarket operator has now garnered certification for another 175 locations.
“Giant Eagle has long been dedicated to conserving natural resources through the implementation of environmentally minded business practices and specialized training methods,” said company spokesman Dan Donovan. “The Grocery Stewardship Certification has provided us a unique opportunity to further engage our team members in the company-wide investment in sustainability.”
Plymouth, Mass.-based sustainability nonprofit Manomet, the administrator of GSC, estimates that Giant Eagle annually saves nearly 6,000 tons of waste from going to landfills, more than 45 million gallons of water from being used and about 260,000 tons of greenhouse gas from being released.
“Giant Eagle has set a strong example for other food retailers with their work on sustainability,” noted GSC Program Manager Peter Cooke. “They are the first chain to successfully certify all of their participating investment they have put into the GSC, and other sustainability initiatives will help them operate more efficiently, save money and resources, and ensure a better future for their employees, customers and communities.”
Additional sustainability efforts at Giant Eagle, the 2016 Progressive Grocer Retailer of the Year, include recognition by the EPA’s GreenChill, Energy Star and the Green Power Partnership programs, and the 2014 Clean Fuels of Ohio Certificated Three-Star Green Fleets Award and Certificate of Commendation from the Ohio Senator for environmentally friendly contributions.
Since its launch in 2012, the GSC, the only certification program to focus not only on high-performance buildings, but also employee practices and procedures to engage all stores within a chain, has worked with more than a dozen retailers in the United States and Canada.
Giant Eagle operates more than 410 multiformat food, fuel and pharmacy stores throughout western Pennsylvania, Ohio, northern West Virginia, Maryland and Indiana.