Pittsburgh: Supermarket retailer Giant Eagle Inc. received four awards from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its green practices and sustainability efforts, as well as special recognition for its environmentally friendly transportation initiatives.
"Our multiple partnerships with the EPA are a significant piece of our overall sustainability strategy, which also includes our energy management efforts and recycling initiatives," says Giant Eagle Senior Vice President of Real Estate and Development Shelly Sponholz. "We truly believe that our environmental commitment is a vital part to the success of both our communities and our business, as so many of the sustainable projects we undertake produce tangible benefits to each."
EPA Smartway Transport Partnership Perfect Performance Score
Giant Eagle received a score of 1.25 from the EPA's Smartway Transport Partnership program, tied for highest among all other participating retailers. The score indicates the relative fuel efficiency and general environmental performance of transport fleets. The program was created to help companies utilize the newest trucking and transport technologies in order to reduce fuel usage as well as emissions. The perfect score by Giant Eagle is an indication of the company's deep commitment to clean, efficient transport.
Giant Eagle's commitment to environmental sustainability is demonstrated through energy and refrigeration management, clean efficient transport, recycling initiatives and community environmental outreach. In 2009, Giant Eagle recycled more than 124 million pounds of materials — consisting of cardboard, film plastic, mixed office paper, and meat and cooking byproducts — and sold and encouraged customer use of reusable bags at every store.
Giant Eagle currently has four Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified supermarkets — including the world's first supermarket in 2004 in Brunswick, Ohio — and two LEED-certified fuel and convenience stores, most recently being awarded Silver LEED-certification at its Township of Pine GetGo fuel and convenience store location. Additionally, the company has continued to incorporate sound environmental features into all of its new construction and remodeled stores.
U.S. EPA Montreal Protocol Award
The U.S. EPA Montreal Protocol Awards honor achievements in ozone layer protection, climate protection and human health protection. On September 23, 2010 Giant Eagle was honored for its extensive track record and leadership in installing environmentally sustainable business practices throughout its operations.
The EPA honors organizations that have made significant contributions to reduce the health and environmental risks of ozone depletion. This year's honorees include scientists, federal investigators, international government officials, and a pop music artist. Giant Eagle is one of only two food retailers receiving the prestigious award this year.
"Giant Eagle continues to achieve what was thought to be impossible just a few short years ago," says Keilly Witman, Manager of EPA's GreenChill Partnership. "They were the first supermarket partner to reduce their corporate-wide refrigerant emissions rate to below 10 percent, a feat that most in the industry said couldn't be done."
EPA GreenChill Environmental Awards
On September 22, 2010 Giant Eagle received GreenChill's 2009 Best Leak Rate Award for its efforts to reduce refrigerant leaks; GreenChill's 2009 Exceptional Goal Achievement Award for meeting GreenChill standards for stretch refrigerant emissions and, finally, GreenChill's 2009 Superior Goal Achievement Award for achieving GreenChill's target rate for refrigerant emissions.
The GreenChill Advanced Refrigeration Partnership is an EPA program in which participating supermarkets, refrigeration equipment manufacturers and other stakeholders work together to help reduce refrigerant leaks and potentially damaging emissions. Giant Eagle has been a GreenChill partner since 2007.
"Giant Eagle has won GreenChill's 'Best Emissions Rate' Award every year since the GreenChill Partnership was founded in 2007, for having the lowest corporate refrigerant emissions rate of all GreenChill partner companies," says Keilly Witman, Manager of EPA's GreenChill Partnership. "Giant Eagle employees can be proud of the environmental improvements that result from their hard work and dedication to GreenChill's mission."
EPA GreenChill Building Certification
Giant Eagle's flagship Market District store, located in Robinson Township, Pennsylvania received an EPA GreenChill Gold Level Building Certification for its use of environmentally-friendly commercial refrigeration.
The Robinson Market District was noted for its numerous sustainable features, including refrigerant leak rates well below the industry average, the use of secondary loop refrigeration system eliminated sales floor piping and significantly reduced the number of leak points, and the use of CO2 and glycol refrigerants in the secondary loop refrigeration system to protect the ozone layer.