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PLEASANTON, Calif. -- Safeway, Inc. here received an award last week in San Francisco from "Flex Your Power," California's statewide energy efficiency campaign, for its efforts involving energy conservation in its stores.
The grocer has achieved significant energy savings through such program as its "Power to Save" initiative, which saves 18.5 million kilowatt-hours yearly. Other savings have resulted from lighting retrofits, energy management controls, and refrigeration upgrades. In total, Safeway is saving over 98 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, considerably lowering its power bills while slashing carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 100 million pounds.
Additionally, the company has shown its commitment to halting climate change by becoming the first -- and so far only -- retailer to join both the Chicago Climate Exchange, the world's inaugural, and North America's only voluntary, legally binding greenhouse gas emissions reduction registry and trading program, and the California Climate Action Registry, the state's official registry for greenhouse gas reduction projects.
"As one of California's largest employers, we intend to be a leader in forging innovative solutions to achieve a cleaner, healthier 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's having a positive impact on our business and the communities we serve."
Wind energy has been an important feature of the retailer's energy conservation strategy for the past two years. Safeway's latest purchase of 87 million kilowatt-hours is sufficient wind energy to offset the electricity of its 291 U.S. fuel stations, its headquarter complexes in Northern California and all of its stores in San Francisco, California and Boulder, Colo., making the company the country's fourth-largest retailer buyer of renewable energy.
The grocer is also rolling out a plan to cut overall corporate energy consumption by implementing new cost-effective building designs, process improvements, and demand-side management technologies in its stores. Specific initiatives include employing advanced technology in new stores to lower electricity use for refrigeration and installing no-heat freezer case doors that reduce electrical heating; replacing exterior store neon lighting with LED lighting, helping to considerably reduce electricity usage, and using fluorescent lighting and other high-efficiency bulbs that dramatically reduce additional electricity in stores; and introducing a comprehensive national recycling program that annually recycles almost 500,000 tons cardboard, plastics, compostable materials, and other food waste.
Safeway operates 1,761 stores in the United States and Canada.