Food Lion Receives Energy Star Partner of the Year Award 23 Years in a Row

Only U.S. grocer to achieve this milestone
Food Lion Energy Star Main Image
Food Lion is the only company in the United States to have been recognized as an Energy Star Partner of the Year for 23 consecutive years.

For the 23rd consecutive year, Food Lion has earned an Energy Star Partner of the Year Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy. The grocer is the only company in the country to have been recognized in this way for 23 years. The annual program honors organizations for leadership and advocacy of energy preservation to create a cleaner future, with award recipients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to school districts.

Last year, Food Lion converted overhead lighting from fluorescent to LED in 224 stores. Currently, 95% of the grocery store chain’s 1,108 stores feature more sustainable lighting, with upgrades planned this year for the rest of the locations. Food Lion began implementing lighting upgrades in 2015, and the company has saved more than 892 million kilowatt-hours to date. Further, the grocer’s reduction in energy usage since 2000 is equivalent to the CO2 emissions of 123,114 homes’ electricity use for a year – the equivalent of charging 76.9 billion smartphones or converting 23.9 million incandescent lamps to LED. 

“We created our commitment to sustainability around immense care for the towns and cities we serve and an energy-efficient future,” said Matt Yates, Food Lion’s VP, brand strategy. “Including the disciplines embedded in our DNA to turn the lights off when leaving a room and making sure freezer doors close completely not only establish good business practices, but also a solid framework to deepen our commitment to sustainability.”

[RELATED: How Food Lion Is Ramping Up Its Sustainability Initiatives]

Food Lion upped its allocation of funds for overhead LED lighting installation projects in stores by more than 13% in 2023 versus the previous year. More than 900 of the chain’s stores are Energy Star certified, which means that they conserve energy and resources by generating fewer gas emissions than typical buildings. The food retailer is also reducing its carbon emissions footprint through rigorous recycling and food waste initiatives. Over the past year, Food Lion recycled 8,000-plus tons of plastic materials, while about 19,000 tons of food waste was diverted through such methods as conversion to animal feed, anaerobic digestion and compost recycling.

“As we accelerate historic efforts to address climate change, public-private partnerships will be essential to realizing the scale of our ambition,” noted EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “I applaud this year’s Energy Star award winners for working with EPA to deliver a clean energy future that saves American consumers and businesses money and creates jobs.”

Another food retailer that earned an Energy Star Partner of the Year award was Target Corp., which marked seven years of sustained excellence. 

Salisbury, N.C.-based Food Lion operates more than 1,100 stores with 82,000-plus associates. Its parent company, Ahold Delhaize USA, a division of Zaandam, Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize, is No. 10 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. PG also named the company one of its Retailers of the Century. In addition, the Food Lion banner is an honoree of several 2023 Impact Awards, a PG awards program that honors outstanding ESG efforts. Minneapolis-based Target is No. 6 on The PG 100.

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