Albertsons Companies Proves Supermarket Chains Can Practice Sustainability

Can a large supermarket chain really practice sustainability? One of the largest supermarket chains in the U.S. proves they can.

Albertsons Companies is one of the winners of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Safer Choice Partner of the Year Award. The EPA recognized the company, which operates stores in 35 states and the District of Columbia under 18 different banners, for its commitment to bringing awareness of the federal agency’s Safer Choice Program for sustainable products.

The Safer Choice Partner of the Year Award recognizes businesses and organizations that advance the goal of the program to promote chemical safety. Named in the “retailer” category, Albertsons displays the Safer Choice label on its Bright Green line of products. Two products within the Bright Green line feature the Safer Choice label: Bright Green Glass & Window Cleaner and Bright Green Rinse Aid. In addition to two of its private-label products featuring the Safer Choice label, the company promotes the program in its stores, online and in advertising.

Safer Choice commended Albertsons “for its prominent use of the Safer Choice label on its private label products and its continued efforts to expand its offering of Safer Choice-labeled products to consumers,” the EPA said in a statement.

Developed in 1997, the Safer Choice Program evaluates the environmental and health impacts of chemical ingredients in products, and only allows the safest ingredients to be in products with its label. Over 2,000 products contain the Safer Choice label.

The Bright Green line is not the only part of Albertsons sustainability efforts. The company has waste reduction initiatives it is working on in all of its facilities, which includes 30 distribution centers and 21 manufacturing plants. As a result of its initiatives, the company recycled over 22 million tons of soft plastic in 2015. For over 20 years Albertsons has recycled plastic and cardboard. Albertsons also has water and greenhouse gas emissions reduction initiatives.

Albertsons is committed to sourcing more sustainable palm oil and more ethical eggs. Albertsons made a commitment to sourcing Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) in its private label products. In 2015, the company sourced almost 3.3 million pounds of CSPO and expects to source 4.8 million this year. Earlier this year, Albertsons announced its commitment to sell only cage-free eggs in its stores by 2025.

Safeway is one of the 18 banners Albertsons operates under. Based in California, Safeway has strong environmental sustainability initiatives including waste and water reduction. Safeway has recycled used cooking oil for the past few years in its stores in California and the Northwest which is turned into biodiesel and used in its truck fleets.

Safeway reduces water usages in a number of ways. It has installed water cooling technology in four of its distribution centers which has helped save over 1.2 million gallons of water. It installed aerators on its stores water faucets, and focuses on preventing leaks by using a special computer algorithm that tracks water use and detects when it is outside of normal ranges.

Photo: Wikipedia/Caldorwards4