H-E-B celebrates the environment

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H-E-B celebrates the environment

By Lawrence Aylward - 11/14/2019
An H-E-B employee designed the artwork for this year's reusable bag.

"Sustainability.” It’s a big word, and it comes with a lot of responsibility. Sustainability is about:

• reducing food and packaging waste;

• using leftover food to help feed the poor;

• reducing the carbon footprint;

• removing undesirable chemicals and ingredients from food and beverage products to make them healthier;

• ensuring that suppliers and producers practice environmental stewardship and animal husbandry;

• offering products that are inclusive for all people;

• and treating employees fairly and with dignity while compensating them adequately.

Sustainability, simply, is responsibility on myriad levels associated with products and services.

In the next several issues of Store Brands Today, we'll look at what several grocery retailers are doing to be more sustainable. These vignettes may focus on one or only a few things that retailers are doing. In most cases the retailers are doing much more and have made sustainability a significant component of their every-day businesses.

Today, we look at H-E-B.

H-E-B: CELEBRATING THE ENVIRONMENT
San Antonio-based H-E-B celebrated Earth Day last April by giving away 200,000 colorful reusable bags to customers across Texas. On April 22, customers who visited any H-E-B in Texas were eligible to receive their complimentary Earth Day bag, made from recycled plastic bottles. Since 2008, H-E-B has given out more than 2 million reusable bags in celebration of Earth Day.

This year, H-E-B employees provided the inspiration for the art featured on the Earth Day bag. As part of an internal art contest, the company received dozens of creative designs and chose a colorful composition by a 10-year employee who has a degree in graphic design.

On top of the free bag giveaway, H-E-B stores across the state held family-friendly events, tree plantings and community cleanups to celebrate Earth Day. Stores have also teamed with local schools to hold recycling initiatives to see who can collect the most plastic bags.

“Throughout the year, H-E-B educates our customers on ways to be environmentally conscious,” says Winell Herron, H-E-B’s vice president of public affairs, diversity and environmental affairs.

H-E-B is also heavily involved in helping those in need. Last May, H-E-B launched a limited-edition cookie, H-E-B Choco Coco Twisters, with 5% of the proceeds being donated to the American Red Cross to help people affected by Texas disasters. The product, featuring coconut crème and bits of real coconut candy flakes sandwiched between two chocolate cookies, is among the more than 1,000 H-E-B Select Ingredients products, which are made without artificial flavors, high-fructose corn syrup, artificial colors and hundreds of other synthetic ingredients.

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