Tags: Big Y, News, Press, Release, Help, 2024, New Store, Remodels, Focus, Sustainability

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Big Y in the News

Big Y Foods, Inc. is one of the largest independently owned supermarket chains in New England. Big Y operates 84 locations throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut including 70 supermarkets, Table & Vine Fine Wines and Liquors and 13 Big Y Express gas and convenience locations with almost 12,000 employees. Big Y has been recognized by Forbes as a Best-in-State Employer in Massachusetts and Connecticut, as well as Employer of Choice by the Employers Association of the Northeast. Founded in 1936 by brothers Paul and Gerald D'Amour, the store was named after an intersection in Chicopee, Massachusetts where two roads converge to form a "Y".

Big Y in the News contains excerpts from press releases that have been sent to local media. 

New Store Remodels Focus on Sustainability

Celebrating Earth Day Every day: Nurturing the Planet for Generations to Come

Big Y has been making significant strides in enhancing their stores across the region. Since 2022, the company has celebrated the grand re-opening of 26 remodeled stores. These remodels align with the company’s broader strategy to focus on sustainability and modernize their retail spaces to create a more enjoyable shopping experience for both customers and associates.

The new store design incorporates modern elements to inspire guests and reflect each store’s local community. The remodeled stores have been strategically laid out to benefit both shoppers and associates, streamlining operations and creating a more pleasant environment. “Whenever we remodel or build new stores, we always try to upgrade to energy efficient equipment, motors, refrigeration systems etc.,” said Maggie D’Amour, Senior Manager of Environmental Social Governance. “Big Y’s commitment to sustainability and community-focused design is evident in these remodels. As we continue to invest in our stores, we aim to meet customers wherever they are, providing a modern, highly-connected shopping experience,” she added.

These remodels have added major energy efficiency upgrades across Connecticut and Massachusetts. Big Y has mindfully executed the following in each store they have remodeled:

  • High Efficiency Rooftop and Refrigeration Systems
  • LED Lighting Interior and Exterior (95% of stores)
  • Light Dimming Systems
  • Energy Star Certified Equipment
  • Building Energy Management System
  • Night Curtains or Glass Door Retrofits on Open Refrigerated Cases
  • High-Efficiency Motors
  • Capture and Utilization of Waste Heat
  • Cycling Anti-Sweat Heaters
  • Waterless Urinals
  • Low-Flow Water Controls on Sinks
  • Energy-Efficient Hand Dryers

As a result, they are now saving 9.3 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, the equivalent of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by removing 840 gasoline-powered vehicles from area roads for a year.

In addition to the remodeled stores, Big Y also installed a 1.4-megawatt solar array on the rooftop of their new Fresh and Local Distribution Center. The installation is comprised of 3,100 solar panels and the renewable energy generated by the system will offset about 70% of the distribution center's electric requirements.

Expanded in 2021, Big Y’s Fresh and Local Distribution Center provides local farmers and food producers with an efficient, one-stop location that saves them time and money as they don’t need to deliver to individual stores. In addition to supporting their communities, farms and other small businesses, it saves travel time thus cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions. It also serves as a hub for all fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the year.

Over the past three years, there has been a company-wide effort to be Earth-friendly. These initiatives demonstrate the commitment to expanding solar energy adoption and addressing environmental challenges. Overall, these changes have reduced our total energy consumption by more than 17,800,000 kWh.

The new panels are in addition to the over four megawatts of ground mount and rooftop arrays installed at several store locations. Plus, the company participates in more than ten community solar array projects. This solar production is equivalent to annual C02 emissions from:

  • 5,142,780 gallons of gasoline consumed
  • 8,893 homes' electricity use for one year
  • 105,814 barrels of oil consumed

Big Y’s sustainability efforts aren’t just focused on reducing energy consumption. Food waste is another major initiative for the grocery chain. Throughout the year, Big Y makes daily donations of meat, fresh produce, bakery products along with grocery, frozen food and dairy items to the four food banks within their 2-state marketing area.  These donations not only help keep food waste out of landfills, it also helps them meet their goal of maximizing access to nutritious food and other resources that support food security for those at risk of hunger.