Two County Grocers Certified By Maine DEP As Environmental Leaders

January 23, 2012

CONTACT:
Contact: Samantha DePoy-Warren, Maine DEP Director of Communications & Education, samantha.depoy-warren@maine.gov / 287-5842 Nick Archer, Maine DEP Northern Maine Regional Director, nick.d.archer@maine.gov / 760-3139

-Paradis Shop’n Save in Houlton and Graves’ Shop’n Save in Presque Isle are recognized for reducing the impact their stores have on the environment-

AUGUSTA – Two northern Maine groceries are being recognized by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection for their voluntary efforts to reduce the impact their stores have on the environment.

Paradis Shop’n Save in Houlton and Graves’ Shop’n Save in Presque Isle were recently certified by the department as Environmental Leaders, joining Edwards’ Family Shop’n Saves in Unity and Dover-Foxcroft as the only state certified green grocers north of Waterville.

The Environmental Leader program is a self-guided process offered by the department as part of its pollution prevention efforts that encourages lodging facilities, restaurants, and grocers to implement selected improvement 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 Assistance and DEP’s regional directors –including Northern Maine Regional Director Nick Archer– provide free technical assistance to help participants implement sustainable practices, save money and reduce their environmental impact.

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.

“We are so proud of our Environmental Leader program because it engages businesses in DEP’s core priority of protecting our natural resources while ensuring a vibrant and sustainable economy,” said DEP Commissioner Pattie Aho. “Grocers who participate are seeing significant energy cost savings that are leading to increased profitably, allowing them to invest in infrastructure improvements and expansion of their workforce. And by selling locally-sourced food, they are also helping to grow the businesses of those local producers too. This program is yet another example of what is good for the environment being what is good for the economy.”

Paradis Shop’n Save on 33 Ludlow Rd. in Houlton has green practices including donating food to a local food pantry and non-saleable meats to an animal refuge; using energy-efficient lighting throughout the store –including in refrigeration units– and water conserving fixtures in the rest rooms; recycling of paper, cardboard, plastic and metal waste; and installing signage in delivery areas urging suppliers to avoid unnecessary idling.

Graves’ Shop’n Save at 797 Main St. in Presque Isle sells local and organic food and hosts a local vendor day each fall to showcase area growers; has new energy-efficient LED lighting and compressors in the refrigeration units; uses environmentally preferable cleaning chemicals; and has eliminated Styrofoam packaging for to-go orders.

For more information about the Environmental Leader certification program and a complete list of participants, go to http://www.maine.gov/dep/assistance or contact DEP’s Office of Assistance at (800)789-9802. For more information about the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, visit http://www.maine.gov/dep/

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