Weis Markets Receives Top Honor For Sustainability Initiatives
Sunbury-based Weis Markets Monday announced it is the recipient of the 2015 “Retail Sustainability Award from Produce Business magazine for its overall corporate sustainability initiatives.
Presented annually to the most progressive North American grocery retailer for their exemplary environmental sustainability and social responsibility efforts, the honor was presented to Chief Operating Officer Kurt Schertle and key executives on the Weis sustainability team.
Weis’ award-winning sustainability program is being honored for the extensive implementation of energy-reducing measures such as LED lighting in refrigerated cases, advanced refrigeration and climate-control technologies that are designed to decrease the store’s impact on the environment and reduce refrigerant use by fifty percent.
Other key sustainable programs include an expansive recycling program that recycled more than 35,000 tons of materials in 2014, including more than 20,000 tons of cardboard and more than 1,600,000 pounds of plastic bags and film plastics.
“Sustainability is purposefully integrated into our business strategy as we continue to build a culture of sustainability in our day to day operations,” said R. Kevin Small, VP of Construction & Development. “Our strategy incorporates sustainable metrics and practices that we use to measure our results.” Mr. Small oversees the company’s sustainability program also noted, “our sustainability initiative continues to produce results at the store level. It is our goal to reduce our carbon footprint in a way that benefits the communities we serve.”
In addition to environmental activities, Weis was also singled out for its long-standing relationships with local produce growers in the states where the chain operates.
According to Produce Business Publisher, Ken Whitacre, “Weis is one of those companies that has sustained long-standing and multi-generational relationships with its suppliers. The chain does a great job in supporting these growers with signage and ways to engage the growers inside the stores. We see this as a fantastic way to both connect with the consumers and keep the local farmers involved with the community.”
Weis Markets also implemented a Green Leader role in each store location to provide enhanced associate and customer awareness of the company’s commitment to being good stewards of the environment. This has been instrumental in changing the culture at Weis Markets.
“Our goal is to educate all 18,000 associates with our sustainable message,” said Patti Olenick, Weis Sustainability Manager. “We want them to embrace it at home as well as at work.”
Produce Business visited the company’s Selinsgrove and Lewisburg stores, as well as its new Urban Fresh concept store outside of Philadelphia, in advance of being selected as the award recipient.
For more information, visit Weis Markets’ Sustainability webpage.
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