Maine DEP Certifies Environmental Leader Grocers

May 23, 2011

CONTACT:
Samantha DePoy-Warren, Maine DEP Spokesperson/Director of Education and Outreach samantha.depoy-warren@maine.gov 287-5842 (office) or 592-0427 (cell)

-Rising Tide Community Market in Damariscotta, Rosemont Market & Bakery in Portland on Brighton Avenue and Hannaford in Augusta on Whitten Road are three of 10 grocers in Maine now recognized for reducing the impact their grocery stores have on the environment-

AUGUSTA - Three Maine grocery businesses have been recognized by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection for their voluntary efforts to reduce the impact their businesses have on the environment.

Rising Tide Community Market in Damariscotta, the Brighton Avenue Rosemont Market & Bakery in Portland and the Whitten Road Hannaford in Augusta were recently certified by the department as Environmental Leaders, bringing the total certified grocers in the state to 10.

The Environmental Leader program is a self-guided process offered by the department as part of its Pollution Prevention program that encourages lodging facilities, restaurants and grocers to implement selected initiatives from those offered in the department developed workbook to achieve points towards certification. Grocers can earn points for practices such as adopting and posting an environmental policy, selling a percentage of local and/or organic foods, installing energy-efficient refrigeration equipment, having a posted anti-idle policy in delivery bays and educating patrons about the store’s green initiatives.

Businesses submit their completed workbook to DEP for review and certification approval, and must increase their point total to be recertified after two years.

As businesses work through the process, staff from the department’s Office of Innovation and Assistance provides free technical assistance to help participants implement sustainable practices, save money and reduce their environmental impact, regardless of whether they end up obtaining certification.

In addition to considerable cost savings, businesses are also incentivized to participate by recognition within store signage and marketing materials and by research that shows environmental designations are attractive to customers.

Rising Tide Community Market in Damariscotta has green practices including selling local and organic foods from Maine farmers and producers and environmentally friendly products; using energy-saving lighting controls, efficient LED lighting in refrigeration units and a water conserving dishwasher; hosting a regular farmer’s market; and donating food to a local food kitchen.

Rosemont Market & Bakery on Brighton Avenue in Portland sells organic Maine produce and dairy, locally raised meats and environmentally preferable cleaning products. The store also recycles cardboard, metal and glass; donates food to a local soup kitchen; and has eliminated the use of Styrofoam in their to-go containers.

Hannaford’s supermarket on the Whitten Road in Augusta has an environmental policy for their store; encourages and provides reusable bags for customer use; utilizes energy efficient lighting and lighting control systems; and emphasizes local foods, environmentally preferable products and environmental information on their shelves and in displays around the store. The Whitten Road store is Hannaford’s second in Augusta to be certified and the company’s third overall in Maine.

For more information about the Environmental Leader certification program and a complete list of participants, go to http://www.maine.gov/dep/innovation/greencert/ or contact Peter Cooke at peter.cooke@maine.gov or 207-791-8101.

For more information about the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, visit http://www.maine.gov/dep/.

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