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Supervalu has become the first major retailer to sign on with the World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) Climate Savers program, which will aim to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent by the end of 2012, with a baseline year of 2007.
As both the first traditional grocery organization, as well as the first major retailer to join WWF's Climate Savers program, officials from the Minneapolis-based Supervalu said the new environmental initiative further underscores the company’s commitment “to preserving and protecting the environment.”
Andrew Herring, Supervalu’s EVP, retail market development, said, “The Climate Savers partnership is another example of our ongoing commitment to use energy more efficiently and operate more sustainably.”
As the first retailer to join Climate Savers, Jason Clay, SVP of markets at WWF, said, “We hope others in the industry follow Supervalu’s leadership to voluntarily reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” Noting that Supervalu had made “a strong, absolute commitment,” Clay said Supervalu “understands the value of increasing efficiency to save costs and reduce their climate impact.”
In order to accomplish its target reduction, Supervalu has identified several key areas of focus including a few visible initiatives such as:
Conversion of store lighting from traditional fluorescent lamps to a more efficient, LED-based lighting design
Improved refrigeration efficiencies through the installation of night curtains that pull down over open refrigerated cases and better refrigeration controls on all refrigerated cases
Integrated fleet transportation plan that will improve efficiencies by reducing diesel fuel consumption, improving truck idle times through use of on-board technology and reducing trailer refrigeration run time during loading and unloading of trailers.
Supervalu is one of 25 participants in WWF’s Climate Savers program, joining the likes of Hewlett Packard, Nike, The Coca-Cola Co., IBM, and Johnson & Johnson. Collectively, Climate Savers partners will reduce emissions by an estimated 50 million tons by the end of 2010, an amount equivalent to the carbon emissions of 8.7 million passenger vehicles or the carbon sequestered by 9.7 million acres of pine forests.
Aside from the new initiative with WWF, Supervalu has also received recognition from two national organizations for its ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship this week.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded Supervalu with its EPA GreenChill’s Distinguished Partner Award, its “Best of the Best” (Certified Store) Award for its new Chestnut Hill Star Market in Chestnut Hill, Mass., and the Environmental Achievement Award for achievement of the company’s annual environmental goals.
Supervalu also received recognition from the Carbon Disclosure Project’s (CDP) and is featured on the “Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index,” which tracks constituent companies within the S&P 500 Index that have displayed the most professional approach to corporate governance in respect to climate change disclosure practices. The CDP represents 534 institutional investors with $64 trillion in assets under management.