Tops Makes Greater Sustainability Push

N.Y. retailer adds energy efficiency and food waste initiatives
Lynn Petrak
Senior Editor
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Tops Makes Greater Sustainability Push
Tops Friendly Markets is expanding its best environmental practices.

Tops Friendly Markets is becoming eco-friendlier. The retailer announced Sept. 17 that it is expanding its sustainability efforts, improving energy efficiency and other responsible practices across the organization.

One change is the addition of seven more electric vehicle (EV) charging stations by 2022. Tops has also worked with partners Evolve NY, the New York Power Authority and National Grid to install new fast chargers for EVs in three of its New York locations.

In another move to enhance energy efficiency, the retailer is collaborating with Convergent Energy + Power to power 75 of its locations through community solar farms combined with battery storage.

To help reduce food waste, the company is broadening its Flashfood program that connects shoppers with food nearing its sell-by date, saving them money and the products from landfills. Since the beginning of this year, Tops has added 17 more stores to that program and plans to onboard more locations by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, Tops is launching a new effort to encourage shoppers to purchase its “Totes for Change” reusable bags, benefiting the environment and local nonprofit organizations. The bags are available for $1.99, and $1 of the proceeds will be donated back to community groups including the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, United Way, Feeding America and Children’s Miracle Network.

“At Tops, social responsibility and sustainability have always been at the core of our mission, upholding standards that ensure we reduce environmental waste and energy consumption while providing customers with sustainably sourced, high-quality products, at a great value,” remarked Jeff Culhane, SVP of sales and merchandising.

Williamsville, N.Y.-based Tops Markets operates 157 supermarkets, with five additional franchise stores, and employs 15,000 associates in New York, northern Pennsylvania, and western Vermont. The company is No. 66 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. 

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