The large US retailer Supervalu has recently joined DOE's Better Buildings Challenge, launched by President Obama. Supervalu's showcase project in this initiative is the revamp of an Albertsons store in Carpinteria, California, featuring a low-carbon ammonia system.
In December 2011, Supervalu, one of the US' largest grocery retailers and wholesalers, announced that it has joined the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Better Buildings Challenge, which aims to engage building operators nationwide in improving energy efficiency by 20% by 2020. The announcement was made by President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton during a leadership event attended by Craig Herkert, Supervalu chief executive officer and president, on 6 December in Washington, D.C.
Creating the Grocery Store of the Future
Supervalu has been working over the past five years to reduce total carbon emissions by 10% and landfill waste by 50% and is on track to reach those milestones by the end of 2012. Currently, the company is working on the first low-carbon, ammonia refrigeration system at an Albertsons store it is remodeling in Carpinteria, California, as showcase for their engagement in the Better Buildings Challenge.
Albertsons, part of the Supervalu group, has just received the 2011 Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA) for their two “zero waste” stores in Santa Barbara. GEELA honours individuals, organisations and businesses that have demonstrated exceptional leadership for voluntary achievements in conserving California’s resources, protecting and enhancing the environment, and building public-private partnerships.
Supervalu operates more than 78 million square feet (~7.2 million square meters) of retail and distribution center space and has invested $20 million (~€15.576 million) in energy efficiency initiatives this 2011 alone, resulting in over 1,300 projects across its enterprise. In September 2010, Supervalu had announced a partnership with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) with the aim to cut its absolute emissions of greenhouse gases by 10% by the end of 2012, with a baseline year of 2007. The partnership made Supervalu the first retailer to join WWF’s “Climate Savers” programme. The company is also participating in the US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) GreenChill Advanced Refrigeration Partnership, which elected Supervalu as GreenChill Supermarket Partner of the Year 2010.
In the same year, the company received an Environmental Achievement Award for Emissions Reduction and an award for Refrigeration Innovation for the design and installation of the Glycol and CO2 refrigeration systems in the Star Market Chestnut Hill, Mass. location.
About the Better Buildings Challenge
The Better Buildings Challenge is a leadership initiative launched in February 2011 by President Obama. It is spearheaded by former President Clinton and the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness to support job creation by catalysing private sector investment in commercial and industrial building energy upgrades to make America's buildings 20% more efficient over the next decade, reducing energy costs for American businesses by nearly $40 billion (~€31.157 billion).