At Giant Eagle, we are passionate about building stronger and healthier communities. That’s why we are undertaking a renewed environmental sustainability platform focused on achieving significant milestones related to:
In December 2019, we announced our ambitious commitment to eliminate all single-use plastics by 2025. While the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to pause our most public-facing demonstration of this commitment — the elimination of single-use plastic bags — important work in other areas of the company has continued:
As these success stories progress, many more will begin. We are also actively engaged with Team Members, guests and our communities regarding the relaunch of our single-use plastic bag initiative. During the short four-month time frame in 2020 that our initial elimination pilot took place, we prevented more than 20 million single-use plastic bags from being used. We are eager to reinvigorate our progress on this important effort.
We appreciate everyone’s support as we continue this journey, including community leaders at the local, national and global levels. Among those is Greenpeace, which has ranked Giant Eagle first among all retailers in its annual listing of food retailers committed to fighting against single-use plastics.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the average supermarket emits the equivalent of 6.4 million pounds of carbon dioxide annually via refrigerants and electricity consumption. To improve its impact on the climate, Giant Eagle announced today its commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040, with an initial target of 50 percent carbon dioxide reduction by 2030.
Given the environmental impact caused by transportation, electricity usage, and emissions from the refrigerants necessary to power cooling equipment in supermarket frozen and dairy sections, grocery retailers have a unique responsibility to manage carbon dioxide output. Over the past decade, Giant Eagle has made numerous investments to reduce its carbon footprint. Recent efforts include the conversion of approximately 70 percent of its truck fleet to alternative energy like compressed natural gas and electric, LED retrofitting and more efficient heating and cooling. With its net zero carbon goal, the retailer is building on this recent progress with an investment of $100 million over the next 10 years to reach important milestones including:
Giant Eagle’s zero carbon commitment is inclusive of the electricity, refrigerant and fuel used to make its stores, retail support centers and corporate offices operate as well as the energy needed to move goods and people with its truck fleet.