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Whole Foods Florida Stores Receive Grocery Stewardship Certification

Grocery Stewardship Certification
(Photo Credit: Phillip Pessar, Flickr Creative Commons)

Whole Foods Market’s 28 stores in Florida have now been certified by Manomet’s Grocery Stewardship Certification (GSC) program, making them the first grocer in the state to join. The program works with grocers on sustainability strategies with the goal of increasing energy efficiency and revenue while lowering costs.

Through the program, store employees get engaged on operational sustainability strategies. In addition, the grocers receive support reviewing store-level practices and equipment. Manomet says it provides participating independent grocers and grocery chains with data such as revenue-generating sustainability opportunities as well as metrics on waste, water, energy, and other conservation initiatives.

“There is no other program like this for the industry,” said Karen Doyle, senior maintenance and facility manager for Whole Foods Market’s Florida region. “The GSC covers all the bases from employee engagement and education to energy usage and water conservation.”

Whole Foods Market’s Florida region is now their first region in the United States to enroll all stores. “When a whole region of stores enrolls in our program, it allows us to give them a complete picture of the sustainability challenges they are facing and the successes and cost-savings they’ve already achieved through their efforts,” said GSC program manager Peter Cooke.

The nonprofit organization says that the 28 Florida Whole Foods Market stores enrolled in their program are annually saving:

  • More than $2.8 million, an average of $103,900 per store
  • More than 1,900 tons of food waste from going to landfills
  • More than 12 million gallons of water from being used
  • More than 35,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases from being released

Since launching in 2012, the GSC reports that more than 800 grocery stores in the United States and Canada have enrolled. Participating chains include Safeway, Hannaford, and Stop & Shop. Earlier this year, 84 Sprouts Farmers Market stores in Texas, Colorado, Utah, and Arizona received certification.

By working with Manomet on a framework for systematizing sustainability practices, altogether the enrolled Sprouts stores are saving more than $6 million annually, with an average of $76,000 per store.

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