Wakefern Spreads Sustainability Message in 40 Stores

Wakefern Food Corp. and Manomet’s Grocery Stewardship program are launching eco-friendly initiatives at 40 New Jersey ShopRite stores. The retailer-owned cooperative and the nonprofit organization have joined forces to reduce stores’ environmental footprint and save money for customers by introducing more sustainable practices at retail. The partnership is made possible by grants provided by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Wakefern and Plymouth, Mass.-based Manomet previously helped ShopRite stores in New Jersey and Connecticut slash waste and energy and water usage, resulting in the diversion of almost 2 million pounds of waste from landfills.

“There are so many opportunities for us to be a more sustainable company,” said Karen Meleta, VP of consumer and corporate communications at Keasbey, N.J.-based Wakefern. “Rolling out Manomet’s Grocery Stewardship program right now across more of our ShopRite stores is just one of the ways we get there and one of the many examples of how we are investing in sustainability in our stores.”

“Wakefern is already putting a tremendous effort into their role as environmental stewards and we are pleased to work with them to focus their efforts on operational sustainability,” noted Peter Cooke, program manager of Manomet’s Grocery Stewardship program. “The cooperative has a number of great programs underway on resource conservation, retail engagement and sustainable sourcing. This new sustainability partnership will help them quantify what they’re already doing in ShopRite stores and build out their programs for the future.”

“This latest project will help business owners reduce their use of greenhouse gases and conserve energy,” added EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. “By taking steps to reduce waste at the source, businesses can improve the environment and their bottom line at the same time. Pollution prevention is some of the most important work being done by retailers to protect the environment.”

Run by Manomet’s Sustainable Economies program, the Grocery Stewardship Certification program aims to substantially reduce the environmental impacts (waste, water use, energy use, and greenhouse gas emissions) of supermarkets, consumers and entire supply chains. It began in 2012 as the nation’s first and only grocery sustainability certification program.

Wakefern consists of 50 member companies who own and operate retail supermarkets under the ShopRite, The Fresh Grocer, Price Rite and Dearborn Market banners. These family-owned businesses have retail locations in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland markets.

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