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SAN ANTONIO -- H-E-B here will receive Texas's highest environmental honor, the Texas Environmental Excellence Award, on May 3 from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). H-E-B is one of 10 winners of the award, which is presented annually as part of the TCEQ Environmental Trade Fair and Conference.
H-E-B is being recognized in the Large Business--Nontechnical category for its ongoing efforts to conserve resources and reduce waste through a broad variety of environmental programs supported by 60,000 employees in 300 stores across Texas and Northern Mexico.
In 2004, H-E-B converted an additional 32 heavy-duty trucks to run on cleaner burning liquefied natural gas (LNG). With a total LNG fleet of more than 60, H-E-B saves fuel and reduces noxious emissions by 40 percent annually. For its efforts, the company became a charter partner of the Environmental Protection Agency's SmartWay Transport Partnership to improve the transportation industry's fuel efficiency and reduce greenhouse gases and other harmful emissions.
Additionally, H-E-B recycles everything from plastic shopping bags and cardboard to aluminum, steel, plastic, and oil. The company diverts an average of 200,000 tons of materials from landfills every year.
Other efforts include:
-- Baked goods that are not purchased are recycled into animal feed.
-- Food waste is composted.
-- Phone books are processed for recycling at participating stores throughout Texas, collecting 500 tons annually in San Antonio alone.
-- Through its plastic bag recycling program, H-E-B helps schools statewide raise money and environmental awareness while reducing the cost of bag production.
Meanwhile, H-E-B is cultivating a whole new generation of environmental stewards through its environmental education programs. Its "Trees for Texas" program provides CITYgreen mapping software and curriculum packages valued at $2,000 each to help sixth- through eighth-grade students in 40 schools understand the value of trees to the environment. In addition, 4,000 tree saplings will be planted in the schools' honor as part of American Forests' "Global ReLeaf" reforestation project.