Houston -- Kroger Southwest on Thursday said it plans to lower energy usage by 50% -- an average decrease of 2% to 4% annually -- during the next five years. Since 2000, the company has reduced energy consumption in its stores by 30%.
In its ongoing effort to reduce usage, Kroger Southwest appointed a task force of energy-conservation technicians whose sole focus is to identify ways stores can operate more efficiently.
"We're always looking for ways to reduce waste, conserve energy and better our transportation systems," said Bill Breetz, president of the Kroger Southwest Division, which consists of 208 stores in Texas and Louisiana. "By continually educating our associates, introducing new approaches and investing in programs, we've been able to significantly reduce our carbon footprint as a company and contribute to global sustainability efforts."
The Kroger "SAVE 5" program, which was developed by the retailer's facility engineering team, equips associates with five easy habits that can be practiced to reduce waste and energy at store level. The program educates associates about the importance of closing doors; turning lights off; shutting down equipment after use; maintaining specified temperatures in refrigeration cases; and not overstocking products.
Kroger Southwest is investing in a new eco-friendly initiative called "Lighting Reinvention." Lighting is ranked No. 2 behind refrigeration as the leading energy consumer in Kroger stores. The program will significantly cut down the amount of kilowatts used in stores over a five-year period.
In addition to operations, Kroger is committed to following sustainable practices related to food.