Price Chopper Unveils Green Initiatives
Schenectady, N.Y. Price Chopper announced Friday that it is continuing the company’s green focus by engaging in two eco-friendly building projects and an energy-awareness campaign.
In addition to a previously announced partnership with commercial-refrigeration systems manufacturer Hill Phoenix on the design and installation of the first next-generation CO2 refrigeration system in North America at a newly remodeled store in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Price Chopper said it has other environmentally friendly irons in the fire.
Other green programs under way at Price Chopper include:
• A continuous improvement effort that has led to a reduction in lighting and oven usage overnight, reduced neon signage, lighting and fan retrofits, excess spotlight removal, motion-sensor installations, and an ongoing chainwide energy awareness campaign;
• A new Colonie, N.Y., store will be the first silver level LEED-certified supermarket in New York State;
• The company’s new main office complex in downtown Schenectady will incorporate recycled materials, daylight harvesting, raised flooring to allow for more efficient installation of electrical and HVAC components, energy-management controls, rainwater harvesting for irrigation, fuel cells to supplement power from the grid, and photovoltaics as it pursues gold-level LEED certification.
California seeks to ban free, single-use carryout bags in retail
New York City The California State Assembly on Wednesday narrowly approved a bill would make California the first state in the nation to ban single-use plastic and paper bags from being handed out free of charge at supermarkets, drug stores, convenience stores and liquor stores.
The proposed law would apply to supermarkets, chain pharmacies and other large grocery retailers beginning Jan. 1, 2012, and at convenience stores, neighborhood markets and liquor stores beginning July 1, 2013.
The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration. It is being supported by the California Grocers Association.
“AB 1998 [the number of the bill] creates a uniform, statewide standard to help level the playing field among food retailers,” said California Grocers Association president Ronald Fong. “It addresses the issue of single-use carryout bags across all California jurisdictions and provides the most environmental gain with the least competitive disruption for retailers.”
Under the new legislation, shoppers who don’t bring their own bags to the store would have to purchase paper bags (made of at least 40% recycled material) or reusable totes from the store.
The statewide ban would be the nation’s first. It now moves on to the Senate. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has said that he supports it.
Some 19 billion bags a year are used by California’s 38 million people. According to the bill’s the sponsor, Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, the state spends $25 million annually to collect and bury a portion of them.
China and Bangladesh already have plastic bag bans in place, and the United Nations has called for the bans to go global. North Carolina has banned plastic bags on its Outer Banks.
Save Mart Receives Rebate for Energy-Efficient Store
(Oct. 9) Save Mart Supermarkets’ new store in Riverbank, Calif., has received a $46,000 rebate from the Modesto Irrigation District (MID). This rebate—the first to be awarded under MID’s MPower Commercial-New construction rebate program—will help Save Mart offset the cost of an energy-saving green-building design.
“The $46,000 rebate helps our customers, like Save Mart, make a business case for exceeding California’s already aggressive State mandated energy-efficiency standards for new construction”, said Queta Maldonado, MID’s major account representative. “Businesses are looking beyond just the return on investment when considering energy-efficiency investments, and are weighing the improved public image of being a more “green” business.”
The supermarket’s design incorporates a high-efficiency ice machine, steamer, air conditioning, store lighting and other conservation-minded building features. Building, equipment and fixtures were designed as an integrated energy-saving package. It is estimated the supermarket will save over 672,000 kilowatt hours each year, enough “juice” to power 66 average homes. Save Mart will lower its electric costs by an estimated $51,500 in the first twelve months alone.
“Green lowers our operating costs, helps ensure there is power to share with our neighbors and reduces our demands on the environment,” said Ray Agah, VP of engineering, Save Mart Supermarkets, Modesto, Calif., which operates nearly 250 stores throughout Northern California and Northern Nevada under the Save Mart, S-Mart Foods, Lucky, and FoodMaxx banners.