Giant Eagle Embarks On Water Conservation Plan

Multi-format food, fuel and pharmacy retailer Giant Eagle Inc. is expanding its environmental stewardship with a commitment to reduce water consumption by 5 percent by July 2017, which the Pittsburgh-based chain expects to result in a conservation of millions of gallons of water.

"Giant Eagle has long been dedicated to conserving natural resources through the implementation of environmentally-minded business practices," said Shelly Sponholz, Giant Eagle's SVP of real estate and development. In addition to 12 LEED-certified retail locations and the conversion of nearly half of its distribution fleet to CNG powered vehicles, the regional retailer recycles more than 700 tons of plastic bags annually.

Citing projections from the United Nations that demand for water will rise by an estimated 40 percent by 2050, Giant Eagle executed a five-month conservation program in eight pilot locations which collectively exceeded a 5 percent water savings. As a result, all corporately-operated Giant Eagle supermarkets will be retrofitted with water conservation equipment by June 30, 2015.

In addition to conservation efforts being put in place throughout its supermarkets, Giant Eagle's WetGo car wash locations also utilize water reclamation systems in order to make quality car washing more environmentally friendly. A single car wash at WetGo uses approximately 50 percent fewer gallons of fresh water than typical car washes.

Giant Eagle is also dedicated to reducing its carbon footprint through various sustainability initiatives, including plastic recycling programs, solar roofing technology and more, while its customers have helped the company save more than 50 miles of register paper by selecting eReceipts at checkout. Since the option launched in January, eReceipts have offset more than 400 thousand paper receipts. To help celebrate the achievement, Giant Eagle is donating $1 for every eReceipt issued during this month's commemoration of Earth Day, or $1,000, to local parks in Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Columbus.

Giant Eagle's other noteworthy energy solutions include:

  • Solar roofing technology utilized at select store locations, including the Route 82 and I-77 Giant Eagle in Broadview Heights and the Strongsville and Grandview Yard Market District locations in Ohio, as well as the McKnight Road and Southside GetGo locations in Pittsburgh.
  • Coupling solar array technologies with white roofs, which generates significant energy savings. Between all solar equipped stores, Giant Eagle saves approximately 750,000 kilowatt-hours per year utilizing new solar technologies.
  • Purchasing renewable energy certificates which equate to 21 million kwh of renewable energy annually.

Ranked #15 on Progressive Grocer's 2015 Super 50 list of the nation's leading food retailers, Giant Eagle Inc., with $9.6 billion in annual sales, operates 418 retail locations throughout western Pennsylvania, north central Ohio, northern West Virginia and Maryland.

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