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PLEASANTON, Calif. -- Safeway, Inc. here said yesterday it has become the first grocer to join the California Climate Action Registry, the state's only official registry for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction projects. Participation in the registry is part of Safeway's comprehensive GHG Emissions Reduction Program.
"Joining the California Climate Action Registry was the next logical step in demonstrating Safeway's continued leadership in protecting the environment," said Safeway chairman, president, and c.e.o. Steve Burd in a statement. "We have committed ourselves to a companywide clean energy initiative that is already having a positive impact on our business and the communities in which we operate."
Registry membership requires Safeway to annually monitor, report, and certify its greenhouse gas emissions. The company said that it "has made a clear and powerful statement to its customers and shareholders about the importance of the retail sector in driving GHG emission changes and investing in clean energy," and encouraged other retailers to do likewise.
Safeway has put in place a number of clean energy programs to reduce its carbon footprint across California and North America. The company supported AB 32, California's new law to lower carbon emissions by 25 percent by 2020. In September 2006 Safeway joined the Chicago Climate Exchange and pledged to reduce its carbon footprint from the base year 2000 by 390,000 tons of carbon dioxide. It bought another 174,000 megawatt-hours of wind energy, making it one of the biggest corporate purchasers of green wind energy in California and the United States.
The grocer said it has also introduced an initiative to reduce overall energy consumption through new cost-effective building designs, process improvements, and demand side management technologies in its stores. Measures include employing new refrigeration system technology in new stores to reduce electricity usage and installing no-heat freezer case doors that lower electric heating; removing exterior store neon lighting in favor of LED lighting, helping to considerably reduce electricity usage; installing fluorescent lighting and other high-efficiency bulbs that significantly reduce additional electricity in its stores; and rolling out a national program through which it the company recycles almost 500,000 tons of cardboard, plastics, compostable materials, and other food waste each year.
"By reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Safeway is taking action to reduce the company's carbon footprint and reduce air pollution," noted Safeway s.v.p. of fuel & energy operations Joe Pettus,. "With a combined strategic approach of renewable power, energy-efficient building designs, and recycling efforts, Safeway continues to be a leader in managing our energy footprint at all levels. These innovative solutions are part of our comprehensive environmental strategy that benefits our customers and the communities we serve."
"Grocery retailers use a significant amount of electricity, and users need to be more energy-efficient to fight climate change," said California Climate Action Registry president Diane Wittenberg. "Safeway is a leader in energy efficiency. It makes sense that the company also step forward on global warming as the first grocery retailer to join the California Climate Action Registry."
The registry, created by the California state legislature in 2000, is a nonprofit public/private partnership that helps companies and organizations with operations in the state publicly report and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. The results are certified by independently approved third-party auditors that ensure compliance with registry protocols and standardization across participants and sectors within California. For more information, visit www.climateregistry.org.
Safeway operates 1,767 stores in the United States and Canada.