FreshDirect Rolls Out Green Initiatives

LONG ISLAND CITY, N.Y. -- Internet grocer FreshDirect here has informed customers by e-mail that it will be acting as a "responsible environmental [steward]" by adopting several environmentally friendly policies.

FreshDirect says it will do the following:

--Cut emissions from its delivery trucks, to which end it has joined with Tri-State Biodiesel, a New York company that uses cooking oil donated from our kitchen for use in nontoxic diesel fuel. In the next year, FreshDirect plans to use biodiesel fuel in 100 percent of its delivery fleet to reduce emissions and reduce its use of fossil fuel products. Additionally, the grocer will work with the city to find locations for electrical outlets so FreshDirect can plug in its trucks and refrigerate using electric engines. The company hopes to have its first plug-in truck in mid-2008.

-- Reduce the amount of waste it produces, by such methods as its recent switch to delivery boxes that use 100 percent recycled fiber content. Also, within the next three years, FreshDirect will eliminate almost all of our cardboard delivery boxes, replacing them with recyclable plastic totes and grocery bags. Since its facility was designed with cardboard boxes in mind, the company says that converting its systems "will involve a complex re-engineering process."

--Make sure extra food doesn't go to waste, by contributing to City Harvest to help feed New York's hungry.

--Increasing the amount of local products it sells, by buying more from farms, orchards, dairies, and fisheries in the Tri-state area (New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut).

--Offering customers the chance to make informed choices, by working to increase its selection of fish certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council. By the end of 2007, FreshDirect's Seafood Department will display the sustainability status on each product.

The grocer promised in its e-mail to keep customers apprised of its progress in going green.
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