When Northeast and Midwest residents go grocery shopping, there’s a good chance that they head for stores run by Ahold USA (AUSA). The company includes four regional divisions, along with Peapod, the nation’s largest online grocery shopping and delivery service. Together, AUSA operates around 770 supermarkets and 120 pick-up points in 14 states and the District of Columbia.
For more than a decade, AUSA has dedicated resources to improve the energy efficiency of existing stores through targeted projects focusing on lighting, refrigeration, and HVAC systems. In 2014, these measures were implemented in 35 Long Island stores. Included in this initiative were variable speed drive installations for refrigeration, demand controlled ventilation, and other various control strategies. Ahold/Stop & Shop also replaced outdated lighting with more energy efficient LED lighting at these stores. Combined across these 35 stores, these improvements yielded more than 10 million kWh saved a year, and an annual cost savings of nearly $2,000,000.
Financial incentives offered by PSEG Long Island played a major role in the success of the Long Island project. AUSA’s Energy Department continually identifies new store areas for LED lighting retrofits. The ability to secure rebate dollars and incentives for these projects allows AUSA to achieve great returns on the projects and to re-invest those dollars into energy conservation projects.
The Long Island project is just one example of AUSA’s far-reaching commitment to energy efficiency. During the past seven years, the company has implemented more than 5,000 efficiency projects in stores throughout its divisions. New energy-saving features have been installed in many stores, including white roofing, skylights, LED lights, and low-flow bathrooms/prep areas. Starting this year, all new AUSA stores will be constructed using 100 percent LED lighting.
Along with its many efficiency efforts, AUSA demonstrates a deep commitment to sustainability. The company has set a goal of getting to zero waste by 2020. To reduce waste in landfills and incinerators, AUSA is expanding its organic recycling programs. This includes increasing consumable food bank donations that help to feed thousands of low-income individuals and families. In 2013, AUSA was recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its leadership as part of the Food Recovery Challenge, which encourages organizations to donate as much of their excess food as possible.
AUSA has also sharply cut down on a grocery store staple: plastic bags. This year, the company expects to reach a goal of using 1 billion fewer disposable bags. Customers are continually reminded and encouraged to bring reusable bags when they shop.
At its locations in Long Island and nationwide, AUSA has shown how grocery stores can be responsive to their customers and to our environment. These efforts do more than save money and improve store energy consumption. By encouraging customers to do their part, AUSA sheds crucial light on an ever-important message: we must work together to care for our planet.
|Annual Energy Savings (kwh/yr):||2,519,939|
|Total Savings ($):||433,947|
|Total Project Cost ($):||604,410|
|Incentive Dollars ($):||208,930|
|Customer Cost ($):||395,480|
|Simple Payback (yrs):||.91|