By Building on Fleet and Refrigeration Efficiency Programs, Meijer Plans to Cut Carbon Emissions by Half by 2025

(Credit: Meijer)

by | Jan 18, 2022

This article is included in these additional categories:

(Credit: Meijer)

Building on existing efficiency programs and piloting new technologies like an energy-saving geothermal project for refrigeration it has planned for next year, Meijer aims to reduce carbon emissions by 50% by 2025.

The Midwestern retailer says it already has reduced emissions by 17% since 2014, despite opening 52 new stores and additional distribution center facilities. To reach the new emissions goal, Meijer says it will build on existing energy efficiency programs such as using all LED lighting in stores, improving refrigeration systems and building on fleet efficiency.

Meijer’s fleet of 750 trucks, for example, has been part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay program since 2005 and the company says it is using nearly 570,000 fewer gallons of fuel than it did in 2006. It also says it has been operating on 100% clean diesel since 2014. Additionally, the company has added telematics to trucks to monitor and manage temperature control in the fleet’s refrigeration systems.

The company also focused sustainability efforts on overall refrigeration and tackling food waste.

Meijer says refrigerant emissions can be 4,000-times more potent than carbon dioxide and it has participated in programs like the EPA’s GreenChill to manage refrigerant gases. The company has reached its refrigerant leak rate goal by installing leak detection systems in its more than 250 supercenter stores and improving technology and equipment.

In 2021, Meijer tackled food waste and began using an app where customers could monitor sell-by dates and purchase food at discounts when it gets close to expiration. A pilot of the Flashfood app cut food waste by 10% in 2019 and now the product is available at most of Meijer’s stores.

Food waste is estimated to cost grocery retailers more than $18 billion a year with global food waste accounting for as much as 10% of the world’s emissions. Regulations like one in California that went into effect earlier in 2022 and is aimed at reusing and recycling organic waste, and cutting it by as much as 75% by 2025, could also become more common.

Other grocer programs, like TerraCycle’s reusable packaging platform Loop, can cut emissions by cutting down on excess packaging. British grocer Tesco says the program could help use and reuse packaging more than 2.5 million times a year.

Grocery retailer Kroger has similar sustainability goals and says it has turned food waste into renewable energy through anaerobic digesters and has several solar facilities at distribution and manufacturing sites.

Meijer’s efforts have helped Meijer earn the EPA’s SmartWay Excellence Award six times since 2017 and also several GreenChill Superior Achievement awards for eliminating refrigerant leaks.

Additional articles you will be interested in.

Stay Informed

Get E+E Leader Articles delivered via Newsletter right to your inbox!

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Share This