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Delhaize Cuts Energy use by 3.5%, Eliminates CFCs

delhaizeenergyuseDelhaize Group (DG), a Belgium-based international food retailer, has reduced energy use companywide by 3.5 percent, and has eliminated the use of ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) at all operating companies in 2008, according to the company’s corporate responsibility 2008 report. U.S. operating companies include Hannaford and Food Lion supermarket chains.

The Delhaize Group has plans to cut an additional 4 percent in energy consumption this year, according to the report. A portion of Delhaize’s energy cuts can be attributed to Food Lion’s replacement of 128 physical servers with 320 virtual servers, enabling the grocery chain store to save more than 1 million kWh of electricity each year and more than $1 million in hardware and energy costs. Food Lion also achieved Energy Star status at 113 stores in 2008, bringing the total to nearly 800 stores that meet Energy Star requirements.

Sister company Delhaize Belgium installed doors on fridges at all new Belgian stores, which reduced refrigeration energy use by 30 percent.

These new stores also capture and re-circulate the heat from the refrigeration systems to warm the buildings, according to the report. Other energy-conservation installations range from an advanced heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system to more efficient LED lighting systems. These upgrades have resulted in a 40 percent reduction in energy, compared to a traditional supermarket, according to the report.

Electricity consumption at a new distribution center will also be reduced, thanks to a novel refrigeration system based on a CO2 installation. This system will save 950 MWh per year, said the company.

By the end of 2008, all of Delhaize’s operating companies had eliminated the use of ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in their stores. The operating companies also continue to replace ozone-depleting hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) with ozone-friendly refrigerants like fluorocarbon alternatives (HFCs) or other alternative systems. At the end of 2008, around 46 percent of the group’s stores were using ozone-friendly refrigerants.

Other environmental highlights include a reduction in non-reusable bags at all grocery stores from 2.9 bags used per store transaction in 2007 to 2.8 in 2008. The group also recycled 51 percent of its total waste in 2008.

Corporate goals include the development of a long-term action plan for reducing energy use for facilities, operations and transportation; putting an action plan in place to reduce carbon emissions across the entire group; building Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified stores, and minimizing the carbon footprint of new buildings. Other goals include achieving Energy Star status at an additional 100 Food Lion stores by the end of 2009 and reducing energy consumption in Belgium by 35 percent by 2020.

In 2010, the Alfa-Beta chain in Greece will inaugurate its first green store, testing renewable energy sources and sustainable construction materials. Delhaize’s Hannaford and Food Lion stores are leading the way. Hannaford’s new store in Augusta, Maine, is hoping to become the first supermarket to be certified under the platinum designation of the LEED standards, and Food Lion’s new store, in Columbia, S.C., is currently being built to LEED standards. Food Lion’s new office building in Salisbury, North Carolina, also achieved LEED certification.

Delhaize is also increasing the use of renewable power at its stores. For example, Hannaford’s distribution center in Schodack, NewYork, is installing a wind turbine that should be operational by 2011. It’s expected to reduce the distribution center’s energy bill by 10 percent, as well as lower its carbon footprint. Hannaford already has solar panels on four of its stores, generating 200,000 kWh of electricity power per year.

The Delhaize Group is also developing a sustainable food sourcing strategy. As an example, in 2008, seafood buying practices were monitored at Hannaford, Food Lion and Delhaize Belgium.

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