Monday, April 22 was Earth Day, and all four Ahold USA divisions got involved in the celebrations as part of their commitment to minimizing their environmental impact and being a responsible retailer.
This includes offering products that are responsibly sourced, reducing the impact of their own operations, and helping customers to do their part in cutting down on waste. Ahold USA divisions are committed to reducing their carbon footprint by 20% by 2015.
All four divisions launched their new sustainable-choice label to help customers make educated choices about products (initially seafood) that are sustainable, safe, and responsibly produced.
Green re-usable bags
To mark Earth Day, the divisions introduced a special green reusable bag now available in all stores. Every time a customer shops using the reusable bags for a limited time period, they will be automatically entered at the checkout to win free groceries for one year. In an effort to further reduce waste in landfills, the divisions are encouraging customers to remember to bring reusable bags with them every time they shop. In addition to being environmentally friendly, reusable bags are larger and fit more groceries than traditional plastic grocery bags, reducing the number of bags needed. Last year, the divisions collectively saved approximately 118 million plastic and paper bags thanks to customers who regularly shopped with reusable bags. The divisions are also working with cashiers and baggers to reduce the number of bags used, by ensuring they are properly filled and avoiding unnecessary extra bags.
One of Ahold USA’s targets is to reach “zero waste,” which is defined as diverting 90% of waste going to landfills and incineration to other uses, including the expansion of their organic recycling program and new opportunities for recycling cardboard and plastic. Organic recycling efforts include increasing consumable food donations to regional food banks. All stores have the capability to recycle or re-use and food that cannot be donated as livestock feed, compost or converted to electricity.
Stop & Shop
Many Stop & Shop employees in the New York Metro area are volunteering their time to help clean up beaches, parks, playgrounds and areas affected by Hurricane Sandy. Green-fingered employees will also celebrate Earth Day by helping with landscaping efforts including mulching and planting shrubs and plants. “From recycling initiatives to building sustainable stores, Stop & Shop continues to support meaningful, mutually beneficial partnerships that help bring green behavior into the workplace,” said Don Sussman, Stop & Shop New York Metro division president.
In celebration of Earth Day, Giant Carlisle continued its tradition of donating park benches to community organizations as part of its “Bags to Benches” program. The company donated 75 benches to local fire departments, churches, schools, townships, parks, playgrounds and libraries to help beautify the communities in which it operates. Giant Carlisle customers are encouraged to return unused plastic bags to their local store to be recycled. It takes over 12,000 plastic bags to make one park bench. Since 1997, a grand total of 1,600 benches have been donated. “Every day is Earth Day,” said Christopher Brand, Giant Carlisle public and community relations manager. “With programs like ‘Bags to Benches’ we partner with our customers to recycle, reduce waste and go green.”
Giant Landover is a lead supporter of the Anacostia Watershed Society’s 2013 Earth Day Celebration. “Giant is proud to renew our focus on environmental sustainability. Making efforts to reduce our impact – and encouraging our customers to do the same – is crucial to protecting and preserving the communities in which we live and work,” said Jamie Miller, Giant Landover public and community relations manager.