Every Day is Earth Day at Big Y
For nearly four decades, Big Y has been absolutely committed to conserving energy and reducing waste. Saving resources is important to us as a company - not only is it good business, but it's simply the right thing to do. From comprehensive employee education programs to energy-efficient freezers to in-store composting, we continue to do whatever possible to be as ecologically responsible as we can. We look forward to being able to do even more as new technologies and methods emerge.
Here is what we have implemented so far:
Here are some of the ways that Big Y stays green company-wide: We started the Energy Awareness Program in 1999 to help educate our employees on how energy is used in our stores and how they can help minimize waste.
In 2009, we started exclusively using long-lasting, energy-efficient LED lighting in our coolers and freezers. In 2010, we converted all the glass doors in all our stores to LED.
In 2011, even though we increased our total store space by 250,000 square feet, our ongoing efforts enabled us to further reduce our kilowatt hour (kW h) usage by 1,212,000 kW h compared to 2010. Environmentally, this is equivalent to removing 164 cars off the road each year, reducing the CO2 emissions from burning 1,944 barrels of oil, saving 93,693 gallons of gas from being used and not having to supply electricity to 104 homes.
In all our stores, we have also replaced cooler and freezer motors with the far more energy efficient Electronically Commutated Motors (ECMs).
We also installed "night curtains" in the open refrigerator cases in all our stores. When pulled down over the cases at night, the refrigeration runs less and saves energy.
On the roof of our new store in Lee, Massachusetts, we installed a roof-mounted solar photovoltaic system. This energy-saving measure provides energy benefits equivalent to removing 47 cars off the road, 27,594 gallons of gas not being used and not having to supply electricity to 30 homes.
In addition to reducing the amount of energy we consume, we're also working hard to recycle and eliminate needless waste. We've been recognized by MassRecycle for our efforts, winning a 2010 Recycling Award. In 2011, we composted more than 2,380 tons of organic waste, and recycled more than 13,500 tons of paper and cardboard and 300 tons of plastics. We have composting programs in 26 stores and plan to include composting as part of all of our new store designs going forward. Two of our stores send unsellable food to the Ludlow Lupa Zoo to help feed the animals.
Going forward, we plan on doing even more to help protect our environment. As time goes on and new energy-saving technologies and recycling methods emerge, we're sure these developments will affect how we approach these efforts in the future. However, regardless of the means, we will always remain dedicated to doing whatever we can to be as "green" as we can.