Meijer has received the 2017 SmartWay Excellence Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in honor of its outstanding environmental performance and leadership. The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based company is the first retailer to receive the award, which recognizes the top-performing SmartWay retail and manufacturing shipping partners that have reduced their carbon footprints to contribute to cleaner air and decrease fuel costs.
"Our distribution and logistics teams continue to make significant progress to lower emissions and reduce our carbon footprint in the markets we serve," says Tom McCall, VP of logistics at Meijer. "We constantly focus on improving the efficiency of our fleet to reduce idle time, emissions and impact on our neighbors, particularly in urban settings."
Meijer operates a fleet of 250 semi-trucks that collectively cover an estimated 25 million miles each year. To minimize the emissions from refrigerated trailers, Meijer programs its units with “cycle sentry,” which automatically regulates the engine as refrigeration is needed. This technology enables the retailer to save nearly 80 percent on fuel while increasing the life of the engine and reducing maintenance costs.
The retailer also uses three Tier 4 CARB hybrid/electric shore powered refrigerated units at its Distribution and Stock dock doors to run only on electronic. This reduces operating and maintenance expenses, eliminates local diesel emissions and meets local noise ordinances. These hybrid units are now the standard specification for new unit purchases.
In addition, Meijer has built a clean diesel fleet, made focused investments in energy efficiency within its retail footprint and established an ongoing commitment to sustainable design in new construction and renovation, say company officials.
The annual SmartWay Excellence Award honors top shipping and logistics companies for superior environmental performance, as well as: additional actions to reduce freight emissions through effective collaboration; operational practices; a robust system for validating and reporting their SmartWay data; and communications and public outreach. Recipients of the SmartWay Excellence Award are chosen from more than 3,500 companies and organizations participating in SmartWay.
The privately-owned and family-operated Meijer operates 235 supercenters and grocery stores in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin.