Touting best practices to reduce their environmental footprint, 45 Whole Foods Market stores in Northern California have been certified by Manomet’s Grocery Stewardship Certification (GSC) program.
With a mission to apply science to deliver cooperative solutions to environmental problems, nonprofit organization Manomet works with grocers through its GSC program to help them engage employees on operational sustainability strategies as well as store-level practices and use of equipment to increase energy efficiency, boost revenue and lower costs.
“Environmental stewardship is a core value for Whole Foods Market and working with Manomet’s Grocery Stewardship Certification program ensures that each store is consistently improving sustainability practices in our operations,” Tristam Coffin, director of sustainability and facilities for Whole Foods’ Northern California region, said in a statement. “The GSC helps us to further engage our team members and has given us another tool to reduce our energy use, conserve water and minimize food waste.”
Whole Foods integrates and highlights sustainable products to help consumers move toward more sustainable purchases. Photograph courtesy of Manomet
Indeed, partaking in the GSC program not only benefits the environment but also enables participating independent grocers and supermarket chains to reduce costs through operational sustainability efforts, revenue-generating sustainability opportunities, employee engagement strategies and conservation of water, waste and energy.
The 45 Northern California Whole Foods stores enrolled in the GSC, for example, are annually saving an estimated:
- More than $6 million, averaging about $133,400 per store.
- More than 3,100 tons of food waste from going to landfills.
- More than 18 million gallons of water from being used.
- More than 78,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases from being released.
“Across the U.S., U.K. and Canada, Whole Foods Market is showing what it means to be a mission-driven business,” Peter Cooke, program manager of the GSC, said in a statement. “These Northern California Whole Foods stores excel in prioritizing sustainability through food waste diversion and other operational efficiencies. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Whole Foods Market.”
Since its launch in 2012, the GSC has enrolled more than 800 grocery stores in the U.S. and Canada.
Whole Foods store signs and displays are designed to encourage and remind staff to support and join the store's sustainability practices. Photograph courtesy of Manomet