Weis Markets said it made progress on reducing its overall environmental impact last year, achieving its goal of reducing its greenhouse emissions by 20% in 2020.
The company released its 2020 Sustainability Report, where it detailed its efforts to divert food waste from landfills, reduce truck fleet fuel consumption and reduce waste in stores.
“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,” said Jonathan Weis, Weis Markets chairman and CEO. “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 Sunbury-based supermarket chain said it was able to divert nearly 9.4 tons of food waste from landfills by following the Environmental Protection Agency’s Food Recover Hierarchy.
It donated more than 1,146 tons of food to food banks, repurposed 1,360 tons of food waste as cattle feed and composted 1,212 tons of food waste.
The food waste reduction efforts increased 35% over 2019, according to the report.
The company said it also made progress in its recycling program. It recycled 1,335 tons of plastics, up 4.3% over 2019, plus 358 tons of scrap metal, up 133% over 2019. It also recycled 939 tons of plastic bags, which was 4.6% more than in 2019.
The company noted it earned the EPA’s GreenChill program recognition for outstanding refrigerant management in 11 of its stores.
It said it also made progress in the green design of its stores, reducing overall energy usage per square foot by 4% through such efforts as adding energy-efficient LED lighting.
It is also continuing to upgrade its fleet of trucks to meet more energy efficient standards, by replacing 27 of its oldest tractors with new 2021 vehicles.