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SALISBURY, N.C. -- In conjunction with the ongoing National Energy Awareness Month, Food Lion here achieved a major milestone in its energy conservation efforts: Its 600th store has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) ENERGY STAR designation. The chain also launched two energy-saving initiatives in its campaign to reduce energy use even further through store employee action.
With 600 units -- or roughly half of the grocer's total number of stores -- now recognized as ENERGY STAR leaders by the EPA, Food Lion, which now has some of the most energy-efficient retail facilities in the United States, stands out as having far more ENERGY STAR stores than any other U.S. retailer.
Since 1998, Food Lion and the EPA have worked in close partnership to push Food Lion's energy-conservation efforts to increasingly higher levels. In the past 12 months alone, Food Lion has successfully increased the number of stores that qualify for the ENERGY STAR designation from 400 to 600.
For its efforts in adopting and applying energy management practices and technology throughout its operations, Food Lion received the EPA's ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year awards in 2001 and 2002. In both years Food Lion was the only supermarket company to receive the honor. In 2003, 2004, and 2005, the EPA again recognized Food Lion's energy management efforts by awarding the retailer the ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award.
Energy is Food Lion's second-largest operating expense. Since 2000, the chain has successfully reduced energy consumption by more than 25 percent, or 2.45 trillion BTUs (the energy equivalent of powering 71,784 American homes) -- a figure that's equivalent to nearly $1.34 billion in sales.
Building on its success, Food Lion is also launching a campaign to reduce energy use even further through store employee action. The goal of the campaign is to make store deli employees aware of their ability to affect their store's energy use. Because of the equipment used each day for deli operations, deli associates have the ability to reduce a store's energy bill significantly through the smart use of deli equipment. Letting an exhaust hood run one extra hour per day, for instance, costs a store $1,500 more in energy each year.
The energy awareness campaign uses engaging scratch-off cards to help deli associates think about the power they have over power. During the three-week campaign, associates will receive a different card each week. By helping deli associates take partial ownership of their store's power bill, Food Lion hopes each associate will take steps to reduce energy consumption.
Because energy awareness should extend into homes as well, Food Lion is encouraging employees at its corporate headquarters to make the EPA's Change a Light Day Pledge and change at least one bulb in their home to a compact fluorescent bulb. During the pledge campaign, Food Lion and a vendor partner are giving away 100 CFLs and are using articles, posters, and brochures to educate employees about conserving energy at home.
A subsidiary of Brussels-based Delhaize Group, Food Lion, LLC operates over 1,200 supermarkets, either directly or through affiliated entities, under the names of Food Lion, Bloom, Bottom Dollar Food, Harveys and Reid's in 11 Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states.