Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer revealed on Jan. 18 its goal to reduce absolute carbon emissions by 50% by 2025. A privately-owned and family-operated company since 1934, Meijer said its efforts are rooted in the company’s mission to be a good neighbor.
Meijer said it integrates environmental sustainability into daily operations and is committed to continual improvement through smart decisions and innovations that benefit customers and the broader community.
"At Meijer, we believe in taking responsibility for the well-being of the world around us," Meijer President and CEO Rick Keyes said in a statement. "We are reducing carbon emissions not only because it makes good business sense, but because it aligns with our values and mission of enriching lives in the communities we serve."
According to a recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, greenhouse gas emissions would need to be cut in half by 2030.
Meijer said it already managed to reduce emissions by 17% since 2014, even while opening 52 new stores and additional distribution center facilities. This is equal to a 30% reduction in the amount of carbon dioxide emitted per square foot.
Looking ahead, Meijer said it is committed to cutting emissions faster than what science suggests is necessary and plans to reduce absolute carbon emissions by 50% by 2025. To meet this commitment, Meijer said it will build on existing energy and fleet efficiency programs by adding more renewable energy procurement and piloting new innovative technologies, such as energy-saving geothermal projects for refrigeration next year.
"Meijer has a long-standing commitment to environmental stewardship that leads back decades to when Fred Meijer spoke at the first Earth Day celebration in Grand Rapids in 1970," said Vik Srinivasan, SVP of properties and real estate. "We strive to be a good neighbor, which isn't just about serving our communities today. It's also about protecting our planet for tomorrow, and that's more important than ever."
The retailer believes that part of the commitment to being a good neighbor includes constructing environmentally responsible buildings, including using the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standard as a guide to build efficient stores.
"Lessening our impact on the environment through a continued commitment in reducing carbon emissions is an issue that is important to us and our customers," said Erik Petrovskis, director of environmental compliance and sustainability for Meijer. "We've made significant progress over the years, but we look forward to continuing to do what is right for the world we live in."
Meijer operates 258 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin.