Sunbury, Penn.-based grocery chain Weis Markets has released its 2021 Sustainability Report on Earth Day. The report details Weis Markets’ efforts to conserve resources, employ green design and be socially responsible.
First covered by Store Brands’ sister publication Progressive Grocer, Weis Markets, which has a collection of private brands, has reduced greenhouse-gas emissions by 55% since 2008 by taking part in energy efficiency programs, assessing its energy choices, lowering refrigerant leakage, and upgrading lighting, refrigeration, transportation and other technologies. Additionally, the report highlights the retailer’s ongoing commitment to the communities it serves, including the expansion of its donation program to more than $4 million and almost 2.7 million pounds of food.
Weis Markets operates 197 stores in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Virginia and West Virginia.
“The success of our sustainability efforts depends on the ongoing focus and dedication of team members throughout the company,” said Weis Markets chairman and CEO Jonathan Weis. “We are grateful for the associates who have worked to achieve continued progress toward our sustainability goals, and we will work together to set and achieve ambitious goals for reducing our overall environmental impact moving forward.”
Coinciding with the report’s release and Earth Day, Weis Markets has donated $2,000 each to six organizations that work to improve the environment throughout the grocer’s market area: Howard County Conservancy, in Woodstock, Md.; Chesapeake Conservancy, in Annapolis, Md.; ClearWater Conservancy, in State College, Pa.; Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful; Central Pennsylvania Conservancy, in Carlisle, Pa.; and Susquehanna Greenway Partnership, in Lewisburg, Pa.
Among Weis Markets key sustainability achievements in 2021 were the following:
Commitments to Reduce Waste
- Diverting 56% of all waste, or 44,554 tons, from landfill by reusing, repurposing and recycling
- Increasing the amount of unsold food donated to partner agencies by 200 tons compared with 2020
- Increasing the amount of expired or unused medications collected for safe disposal by 14% compared with 2020
Progress in Green Design
- Achieving Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) GreenChill certification in 14 stores
- Maintaining a refrigerant leak rate of 9.3%, well below the industry average of 25% and the GreenChill program participant average of 13%
- Earning the first Sustainable Food Retail Certification from the Ratio Institute
- Increasing the number of stores with LED lighting by 27% compared with 2020
- Increasing the amount of donations to partner charities to $4 million, an 18% increase from 2020