What makes a grocery store sustainable?


Learn more about the impact consumers and retailers have on the supply chain and sustainability

  • More than 97 percent of the food we throw away ends up in landfills.
    Reducing Wasted Food Basics.” EPA.gov. EPA.gov, 17 June 2013. Web. 08 July 2013.
  • The more climate-damaging refrigerants that are commonly used in a supermarket can mean emissions equal to almost 1,800 metric tons of CO2. This is equivalent to annual CO2 emissions emissions from the energy use of roughly 160 U.S. homes.
    “Commercial Refrigeration Technologies: Opportunities and Best Practices for Green Design” produced by the EPA’s GreenChill Partnership
  • Energy costs can account for up to 15 percent of a grocery store’s operating budget. Because grocery stores’ profit margins are so thin—on the order of 1 percent—every dollar in energy savings is equivalent to increasing sales by $59.
    “Managing Energy Costs in Grocery Stores”  produced by Business Energy Advisor
  • If 25% of U.S. families used 10 fewer plastic bags a month; we would save over 2.5 billion bags a year.
    Waste Facts.” Sustainable Lafayette. Lafayette Community Foundation, n.d. Web. 08 July 2013.
  • Recycling 1 ton of mixed paper saves the energy equivalent of 185 gallons of gasoline.
    Grassroots Recycling Network. (2006). Extended Facts on Why Garbage is Not Renewable Energy. Retrieved June 2010 from http://www.grrn.org/landfill/notrenewableenergy/technicalbackground.html#what
  • If we recycled all of our aluminum cans for one year, we could save enough energy to light Washington, D.C. for 3.7 years.
    American Beverage Association. (2010). Recycling. Retrieved June 2010, from http://www.ameribev.org/minisites/recycling/
  • Doubling the national recycling rate could create over 1 million new green jobs.
    Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives. (2009, June 15). Despite Green Claims, Incinerator Industry Just Blowing Smoke. Retrieved June 2010 from http://www.no-burn.org/article.php?id=732
  • 36,000 supermarkets around the U.S. produce 68.4 million tons of carbon each year, equivalent to annual emissions of almost 13 million cars.

GSC Facts

  • The estimated savings at each store implementing the GSC program is $70,000.
  • 15 store districts can save about $785,000 each year by taking part in the GSC program.
  • A 12-store unit of supermarkets would save 2 mill kilowatt-hours of electricity from implementing GSC.
  • A 12-store unit of supermarkets would save 3.6 million gallons of water annually from implementing GSC recommendations.
  • GSC has prevented emission of 289,000 metric tons of CO2 across participating stores & will reduce amount of waste by 1.8 M lbs. yearly.