Weis Releases First Sustainability Report

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Weis Releases First Sustainability Report


In celebration of Earth Day, Weis Markets has released its first corporate sustainability report, outlining the various initiatives the company has enacted to lessen its impact on the environment.

The report highlights the Sunbury, Pa.-based grocer's continuing sustainability goals and vision, and also shares a five-year snapshot of collected data, including a 15.5 percent reduction in carbon emissions despite the company expanding store operations.

“We have always been a responsible and earth-conscious company. But over the past five years, we have significantly upgraded our sustainability program,” said David J. Hepfinger, Weis president and CEO. “With the wheels firmly in motion, we are now seeing strong sustainability results and wanted to share these successes with our valued customers, associates and shareholders.”

In 2012, the company saved $2.7 million by reducing its electricity usage and another $1.8 million in landfill fees, recycling more than 65 million pounds of waste. It also opened its first LEED-registered store in Fogelsville, Pa., introduced 100 percent recyclable meat trays for select Weis fresh meat products, and expanded its closed-loop composting program to 30 of its stores.

Weis completed its first greenhouse gas emissions assessment in 2008, compliant with the World Resources Institute’s GHG Protocol Corporate Standard. The inventory accounts for all known Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions resulting from Weis’ business operations and serves as its baseline report.

“We conducted a comprehensive audit of all our stores, warehouses, manufacturing facilities, as well as our corporate headquarters, analyzing our electricity, refrigeration emissions, gas and diesel fuel usage, fleet size and vehicle fuel consumption,” said Patti Olenick, Weis sustainability manager. “With the assessment data in hand, we’ve been working tirelessly to increase the efficiency of our stores’ operations systems and have incorporated energy-efficiency measures to lower our energy consumption, fossil fuel dependence and carbon emissions.”

Weis Markets focuses on four pillars in its systematic sustainability program:

• Green design (store design and remodels)
• Protection of natural resources (recycling and conservation efforts)
• Food and agriculture (partnerships with local farmers and food processors)
• Social responsibility (caring for Weis associates and fostering the communities it serves through volunteerism, direct and in-kind donations)