Weis Markets continued to shrink its overall environmental impact last year, reaching its goal of a 20% reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions by 2020, according to the company’s “2020 Sustainability Report: Weis by Nature.”
The report spotlights the company’s progress during last year, including new partnerships to divert food waste from landfills, measures to reduce truck fleet fuel consumption, and an ongoing focus on conserving resources and reducing waste in Weis stores.
Also noted in the report were the company’s commitments to its communities amid the pandemic, among them donating more than $3 million dollars and almost 2.3 million pounds of food, including, for the first time, dairy and frozen items, to those most affected by the public-health crisis. The food retailer also continued its Weis By Nature and Low, Low Price programs, which helped customers save money.
“Against the challenging backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, our associates continued to make incredible progress to operate efficiently by reducing waste and conserving energy in our stores, while also providing the necessary support to our communities when they needed it the most,” noted Weis Markets Chairman and CEO Jonathan Weis. “We are making continued progress toward our sustainability goals, and we will continue to invest in our program to reduce our overall environmental impact.”
The grocer’s key 2020 sustainability achievements included:
- Diverting 9.355 tons of food waste from landfills in accordance with the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Food Recovery Hierarchy, a 35% increase from 2019.
- Reducing carbon emissions by 27.4% compared with 2008, surpassing the company’s 20% reduction goal.
- Recycling 1,335 tons of plastics, 4.3% more than in 2019; 358 tons of scrap metal, 133% more than in 2019; 31,815 tons of paper and cardboard, 11% more than in 2019; and 939 tons of plastic bags, 4.6% more than in 201.
- Garnering recognition from the EPA's GreenChill program for outstanding refrigerant management in 11 stores.
- Reducing overall energy usage per square foot by 4% in its stores.
- Continuing to upgrade its fleet to meet energy efficiency standards, replacing 27 of its oldest tractors with 2021 vehicles and ensuring that all trucks were model year 2016 or newer.
The report is available online.
Sunbury, Pennsylvania-based Weis Markets operates 198 stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, West Virginia and Virginia. The company is No. 58 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2020 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.