9 Hannaford Supermarkets Certified By Maine DEP As Environmental Leaders

January 31, 2012

Samantha DePoy-Warren, Maine DEP Spokesperson/Director of Communications & Education samantha.depoy-warren@maine.gov / (207) 287-5842 or Eric Blom, Hannaford External Communications Manager eblom@hannaford.com / (207) 885-3132

-The central and western Maine store certifications make Hannaford the leading green grocer in the state, with 12 of the 23 DEP certified stores-

AUGUSTA – Hannaford is being recognized by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection for its voluntary efforts to reduce the environmental impact of nine of the company’s supermarkets in central and western Maine.

This month, stores in Farmington, Gardiner, Jay, Madison, Rumford, Skowhegan, Waterville (Elm City Plaza and JFK Plaza) and Winthrop were certified by the department as Environmental Leaders, joining Hannaford’s two already certified stores in Augusta and one in South Portland to make the company the leading green grocer in Maine with 12 of the state’s 23 certified stores.

Their common green practices include selling a percentage of locally grown and produced food items that are highlighted with “Close to Home” signage and Gulf of Maine Research Institute verified sustainable seafood; using energy-efficient store lighting, water conserving fixtures in restrooms, heat recovery from refrigeration systems and environmentally preferable cleaning products; donating food to local food banks or pantries; recycling of paper, cardboard and plastic waste as well as composting of organic waste; and the adoption of a written stormwater management policy for parking lots.

The certified stores also maintain environmental information that educates customers and staff on the company’s efforts to reduce its environmental impact and have an environmental team of staff at each store that meets at least quarterly.

In 2009, Hannaford opened the first supermarket certified at the platinum LEED level by the U.S. Green Building Council. That store on Cony Street in Augusta served as a learning laboratory for Hannaford’s sustainability activities and the Environmental Leader initiative furthered that effort, says Bernie Ouellette, a district manager for Hannaford in the Augusta-Waterville area

"We saw Environmental Leader certification as a way to increase focus on our sustainability work at a store level, while also engaging our associates,” explained Ouellette. “Associates in these stores worked really hard to distinguish Hannaford, and themselves, as leaders in the area of sustainability."

As an example, the typical Hannaford store keeps 61 percent of its waste from going to a landfill – compared to around 45 percent for the industry. Hannaford stores participating in DEP’s Environmental Leader program averaged 78.7 percent.

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. 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, DEP’s regional directors and staff from its Office of Assistance 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.

"Environmental Leader certification recognizes that our practices are good both for business success and Maine’s environment," said George Parmenter, manager of sustainability for Hannaford. "We encourage more grocery stores and other Maine businesses to take advantage of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection’s voluntary program encouraging sustainable business practices."

DEP Commissioner Patricia Aho says the Environmental Leader program shows that what is good for Maine’s environment is also good for the economy.

“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,” Aho said. “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.”

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 the Office of Assistance at 1-800-789-9802. For more information about the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, visit http://www.maine.gov/dep.

Hannaford Supermarkets, based in Scarborough, operates 179 stores and employs more than 27,000 associates in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont. The company’s Cony Street store in Augusta was the world’s first supermarket to achieve LEED Platinum certification. For more information, visit http://www.hannaford.com