Safeway selects Hara to help reduce energy use
Redwood City, Calif. Safeway Inc. has selected Hara to help it identify and implement measures to reduce its energy usage and carbon footprint, Hara reported.
The supermarket chain is in the initial stages of deploying the Hara Environmental and Energy Management (EEM) solution to consolidate energy and environmental data onto a single platform and establish an environmental system of record. According to Hara, the solution provides Safeway with a centralized platform to collect, monitor and manage energy costs, greenhouse gas emissions, forecasting, modeling and market information across its stores, manufacturing distribution centers and fuel stations.
In addition, Hara EEM will also help Safeway achieve a consolidated view of its companywide utility spending on an automated basis.
“We have a long history of reducing our energy costs through innovative supply arrangements and implementation of energy efficiency projects,” said Joe Pettus, senior VP of fuel and energy at Safeway. “We believe that by implementing the right tools, we will be well positioned to make significant progress towards our goals,” “Hara adds value by giving us not only reliable insight into the size and makeup of our energy usage and carbon footprint, but also a solid roadmap for achieving further cost reductions and better carbon management.”
Restaurants embracing sustainability
New York City An ethical obligation to go green, as well as a desire to reap the benefits of good public relations from eco-friendly moves, are driving the decisions of restaurants to embrace green strategies more so than expectations for solid returns on investment, according to a new study. The report, “The Better-Run Restaurant: Environmental Sustainability in Restaurant Retail 2010,” surveyed 124 respondents in late 2009, including operators from large and small chains as well as independent operations.
Conducted by Miami-based Retail Systems Research, in partnership with Nation’s Restaurant News, the green-focused survey examined current and future initiatives. It found that 66% of respondents said they believed going green would make their brands appear more attractive to consumers, while 63% indicated that they felt an ethical obligation to make their businesses more environmentally sound. Sixty-three percent of respondents also claimed going green would help them to be better viewed as industry leaders.
“There are three reasons for restaurants to enact environmentally sustainable practices: to save cost, reduce waste and build a greener brand,” said Steve Rowen, managing partner of RSR and co-author of the study. “In fact, the best performing restaurateurs believe green-minded consumers care enough about a brand’s environmental positioning to factor it in to ‘where to dine’ decisions. The hard part still is measuring ROI in terms of new revenue. The direct correlation is not clear, yet.”
The sustainable practices being implemented this year by restaurants include:
- Recycle raw materials (79%);
- Regulate energy use in their stores or facilities (68%);
- Promote eco-friendly items or ingredients in-store (67%);
- Reduce take-out/send-home waste (65%);
- Feature green processes such as ethically sourced products (64%); and
- Incorporate green construction practices into new facilities and stores (60%).
Office Depot’s LEED Gold store surpasses expectations
Boca Raton, Fla. Office Depot announced the efficiency results of the company’s first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certified store.
The store, located in Austin, Texas, has lowered its carbon intensity by 23% due to a number of programs.
From November 2008 to November 2009, Office Depot tracked a variety of environmental impact factors including energy usage, carbon-dioxide emissions and water efficiency at the location and compared it to other Office Depot outlets in the same area.
“The energy savings realized at our first Austin store location has been even greater than what we had originally expected,” said Edward Costa, VP construction for Office Depot. “The Austin location allowed us to test a variety of new and innovative initiatives and solutions that resulted in both environmental and economic benefits.”
In addition to lowering its carbon emissions, the Gold-certified store has reduced its electricity use (kWh per square foot) by about 14% and reduced its carbon footprint (per square foot) by 23%. It has lowered its annual electricity costs by approximately 16%; and overall, and is 15% more energy efficient (per square foot) than the chain’s other stores in Austin.
Among the store’s sustainable features are: solar tracking skylights; solar energy; lighting retrofit to energy-efficient T5 lighting; light sensors in all offices; a recycling program, a reflective white roof; polished concrete floor and recycled content carpet; and high-efficiency heating, ventilation and air conditioning units.
“Our Austin experience shows that a LEED-certified store is dramatically more energy efficient than a non-certified store,” said Yalmaz Siddiqui, director of environmental strategy for Office Depot. “The results prove how beneficial a green building can be from both an environmental and economic perspective.”