Washington, D.C. -- Supervalu 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% by 2020. The announcement was made by President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton during a leadership event attended by Craig Herkert, Supervalu chief executive officer and president, in Washington, D.C.
“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,” said Herkert. “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 commitment to environmental sustainability. The company has invested $20 million in energy efficiency initiatives this year alone, resulting in over 1,300 projects across its enterprise.
The has been working over the past five years to reduce total carbon emissions by 10 percent and landfill waste by 50% and is on track to reach those milestones by the end of 2012.
Using cutting-edge technologies, Supervalu is engineering breakthrough projects such as the nation’s first low-carbon, ammonia refrigeration system at an Albertsons store it is remodeling in Carpinteria, Calif., which is an important pilot project 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:
- 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; and
- 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, 2012, 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% in its fiscal year ending February 2011 and recycling revenues exceeded landfill waste expenses for the first time.