UNFI Streamlining Energy, Resource Efficiency

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UNFI Streamlining Energy, Resource Efficiency


United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI), a distributor of natural, organic and specialty foods and nonfood products in the United States and Canada, has chosen environmental and energy management software provider Hara to bolster its national energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions reduction strategies. By deploying the Hara Environmental and Energy Management (Hara EEM) solution, UNFI hopes to grow ever greener via tracking and prioritizing cost-saving energy and environmental initiatives.

UNFI’s sustainability actions to date include energy and resource conservation, greenhouse gas mitigation, renewable energy use and sustainable buildings. These efforts have led to such achievements as LEED certification for two DCs and its headquarters, successful implementation of hydrogen fuel cell technology for its fleet of MHE in Sarasota, Fla.; and more than 2.5 million kilowatt-hours of renewable energy produced annually from three on-site solar panel arrays.

“United Natural Foods is committed to energy and resource efficiency, as well as broader environmental responsibility and stewardship,” noted Lisa Madsen, director of sustainability and philanthropy at Providence, R.I.-based UNFI. “Hara EEM will provide a management platform to support our continued achievements in these areas and facilitate key milestones in our energy and environmental strategies -- from data aggregation to the adoption of best practices and policies to increase our energy efficiencies.”

Hara EEM will provide a platform for the distributor to aggregate data in a centralized system while enabling a streamlined and decentralized stakeholder process. After a baseline is established, the solution will allow UNFI to track reduction targets across a wide range of facilities, among them warehouses, manufacturing facilities and offices. Hara EEM will additionally track additional activities such as UNFI’s renewable-energy output, which includes the clean energy from the solar rooftop systems, waste diversion, and renewable energy credits.

Noting that UNFI’s “mission and values closely align with our own,” and that its “diverse set of initiatives effectively display the value proposition of an integrated energy and resource efficiency strategy,” Amit Chatterjee, CEO and founder of San Mateo, Calif.-based Hara, said that the vendor’s solution would be able to facilitate the distributor’s “innovative cost-saving and energy-reducing actions.”

UNFI carries and distributes more than 60,000 products to more than 17,000 customers nationwide, serving a wide variety of retail formats, among them conventional supermarket chains, natural product superstores, independent retail operators and the foodservice channel.