Sustainability practices at Hannaford Supermarkets annually save the Northeast regional grocery chain $15 million, divert 125 million pounds of waste from area landfills and prevent more than 430 million pounds of greenhouse gases from being emitted, according to a recent study from the nonprofit Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences.
The Plymouth, Mass.-based environmental organization undertook an exhaustive review of sustainability practices at Hannaford stores in 2014, looking at all 184 locations then owned by the company. Manomet granted immediate certification through its Grocery Stewardship Certification (GSC) program to 179 of those stores for their sustainability practices, with the remaining five locations receiving provisional certification.
"Hannaford customers care about the environment and expect us to be good stewards on their behalf," said George Parmenter, the grocer's manager of sustainability. "Certification of our stores demonstrates that our associates work every day on sustainability that is both good for the environment and good for business."
During its research, Manomet asked each store questions on the kind of equipment they use, their daily workplace practices and how they handle waste. Findings included the following:
- Energy efficiency and waste-reduction efforts lowered greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of taking 41,892 cars off the road.
- Electric and natural-gas conservation practices save the company more than $2 million annually.
- Water conservation efforts save a minimum of 43.4 million gallons of water every year.
The certification process also helped individual stores identify areas for improvement of their sustainability practices.
"The GSC is helping Hannaford systemize how they manage for operational sustainability at the store level across the chain," noted Peter Cooke, manager of the GSC program. "Hannaford has experienced exceptional employee engagement through the certification process."
Scarborough, Maine-based Hannaford operates 186 stores in Maine, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. The Delhaize America banner employs more than 27,000 associates.