You are here
Supervalu Inc. has joined the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge, which aims to engage building operators nationwide in improving energy efficiency by 20 percent by 2020.
The announcement was made by President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton during a leadership event in Washington, D.C., attended by Craig Herkert, Supervalu’s CEO and president.
“Reducing our energy footprint and creating a more thoughtful and sustainable operation are important priorities, and we will continue to test innovative ways to build our stores with future generations in mind,” Herkert said. “These projects are good for the environment, improve our operating efficiency and create jobs — ultimately benefiting the communities we serve.”
Supervalu, which operates more than 78 million square feet of retail and distribution center space, has had a longstanding and aggressive commitment to environmental sustainability. The company invested $20 million in energy-efficiency initiatives this year alone, resulting in more than 1,300 projects.
In order to achieve its energy and carbon reduction goals, and support its commitment to the Better Buildings Challenge, Supervalu will continue to invest in innovative energy efficiency projects. The grocer has been working over the past five years to reduce total carbon emissions by 10 percent and landfill waste by 50 percent, and is on track to reach those milestones by the end of 2012.
Through cutting-edge technologies, the company is engineering breakthrough projects such as the nation’s first low-carbon ammonia refrigeration system at an Albertsons store in Carpinteria, Calif. Supervalu considers this pilot project to be an important step in its efforts to build a model for the “grocery store of the future.”
Since 2008, Supervalu has completed 4,500 energy reduction projects, including the following:
- Lighting upgrades: LED, retrofit of existing frozen food lights, spot lights in produce, parking lot lighting retrofits.
- Refrigerator and freezer alarm systems to notify employees if doors are left open.
- New and retrofitted refrigerated dairy and deli cases with doors.
- Fuel cells in several of its stores to serve as the primary energy provider to that location.
- Development of nine LEED stores throughout the country and one nationally recognized “green store” in Chestnut Hill, Mass.
Earlier this year, Supervalu announced plans to transition 40 stores to zero-waste operations during the company’s current fiscal year ending Feb. 25, building on the success of the company’s two zero-waste stores in Santa Barbara, Calif. Through its sustainability efforts, Supervalu also reduced garbage expenses by 12.6 percent in its fiscal year ending last February; recycling revenues exceeded landfill waste expenses for the first time.
“I am honored to attend today’s event and thrilled at our ongoing efforts around environmental stewardship,” Herkert said. “We appreciate the leadership shown by the Obama administration and the Clinton Global Initiative, and are committed to leading our industry through ongoing investments in projects that create energy efficient stores, offices and distribution centers.”
The Better Buildings Challenge is a leadership initiative launched in February by President Obama. It is spearheaded by Clinton and the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness to support job creation by catalyzing private sector investment in commercial and industrial building energy upgrades to make America’s buildings 20 percent more efficient over the next decade, reducing energy costs for American businesses by nearly $40 billion.
Minneapolis-based Supervalu Inc. operates 4,300 stores composed of 1,106 traditional retail stores, including 800 in-store pharmacies; 1,294 hard-discount stores, of which 915 are operated by licensee owners; and 1,900 independent stores serviced primarily by the company's traditional food distribution business.