Hannaford targets solar as a key strategy for addressing climate crisis, becomes first large-scale supermarket retailer in Northeast to mark commitment with aggressive timeline
Advanced sustainability initiatives already underway
Scarborough, Maine– As part of its sustainability strategy and in recognition of Earth Month, Hannaford Supermarkets today announced its plan to be fully powered by renewable energy by 2024—a commitment that makes the retailer the first large-scale supermarket business to match its bold commitment with such an aggressive timetable.
“Doing what’s right for our business includes doing what’s right for our associates, community, and our planet. Powering Hannaford with 100-percent renewable energy sources will make an immediate, positive impact on greenhouse gas emissions,” said Mike Vail, President of Hannaford Supermarkets. “This is an important leap forward in our sustainability journey—and one that we hope sparks others to join. Prioritizing the health of our communities and the planet is a win for us all.”
Supermarkets are energy intensive due to simultaneous needs of heating and cooling. To reduce energy consumption and make the best use of the energy being used, Hannaford has implemented energy efficiency projects like LED lights, night shades, doors on cases and state-of-the-art refrigeration systems—and has rooftop solar on 10 of its stores.
“Hannaford is light years ahead of the rest of the industry when it comes to their sustainability efforts—and they’ve been doing so for well over a decade,” said Peter Cooke, cofounder of the Ratio Institute, an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to accelerating measurable sustainability and viability in food retail. Cooke has worked with more than 1,000 grocery stores and 15 grocery chains as part of his Grocery Stewardship work. “Hannaford associates continue to rally behind making the company more sustainable and that is an advantage to their current and future success in making the planet healthier and greener.”
Currently, Hannaford operates at 30-percent renewable energy by partnering with over 30 community solar projects across Maine, Massachusetts, and New York.
Since the beginning of the decade, Hannaford has worked to reduce its energy consumption and converted 86.4MW of its remaining electricity usage to solar—enough electricity to power 16,000 typical homes for a year. Continuing to operate some of the most energy efficient stores in the northeast, Hannaford will couple their efforts of upgrades and conversions with integrating community and large-scale solar projects in Maine and New York to propel stores to the 100-percent-green milestone by 2024.
“Hannaford has always been serious about sustainability—and over time, it’s become an integral business function. But there is a sense of urgency as we witness the planet in the midst of a climate crisis,” said George Parmenter who leads sustainability efforts for Hannaford. “Hannaford wants to lead where we can make the most impact—and renewable energy is just another step in our journey.”
According to a recent report by the United Nations on climate change, “harmful carbon emissions have never been higher in human history …[and] scientists are urging ‘now or never’ to limit global warming…”. Report findings indicate that achieving net zero carbon dioxide emissions globally by the early 2050’s is the way to stabilize global temperatures and carbon dioxide emissions.
Hannaford, an Ahold Delhaize USA brand, has committed to be a net zero carbon business by 2040. A first step in that journey is to move to 100-perscent renewable energy.
“Tackling climate change demands bold leadership in the private sector and DEC appreciates Hannaford’s outstanding efforts to promote sustainability with its renewable energy expansion,” said New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos. “The more that public and private entities implement measures like this, the faster we will reduce our carbon footprint and improve the health and resiliency of communities across the State.”
Already an early and proven leader in sustainability efforts, Hannaford’s prior milestone successes include:
- Becoming the first grocery retailer in the nation to introduce reusable bags to its customers in the mid-1980s;
- Earning notable distinction with the introduction of North America’s first LEED Platinum supermarket in Augusta, Maine, for eco-friendly, energy-saving features that utilized approximately half the energy requirements of grocery stores of similar size and character 2009;
- Installing a first-in-the-nation refrigeration system using natural refrigerant that is better for the environment and earning Hannaford a “Best of the Best” award from the US EPA Green Chill Partnership in 2013;
- Introducing and expanding electric vehicle (EV) charging stations to parking areas for a total of 163 plugs at 31 stores (and growing) throughout the Northeast;
- And most recently, becoming the first large-scale grocery retailer in its marketplace to achieve zero food waste-to-landfill by donating or diverting all food at risk of going to waste in 2021.
“Albany County has been a leader on environmental protection and addressing climate change, and I remain committed to making this the greenest county in New York State,” said Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy. “We are doing that by cutting down on waste and investing in electric vehicle infrastructure and renewable energy, including wind, solar and hydrogen fuel. But in order to accomplish these goals, we also need buy in from the private sector, and today’s announcement further shows that we have a steadfast partner in Hannaford.”
To learn more about Hannaford’s commitment to 100-percent renewable energy by 2024 and its in-store efficiency efforts, view its video: https://bcove.video/3rizGof
Learn more about Hannaford’s sustainability efforts at Hannaford.com/sustainability.
About Hannaford Supermarkets
Hannaford Supermarkets operates 184 stores in the Northeast, most with full-service pharmacies. Stores are located in Maine, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont. All are committed to offering great fresh food, convenient experiences and everyday low prices. Hannaford also is an active and committed community partner—focusing on fighting hunger, supporting youth development, and helping people live healthier lives. Hannaford is an industry leader in sustainability with a strong commitment to reducing waste and protecting the environment. Hannaford diverts or donates all food at risk of going to waste—sending no food to landfills. In 2020, Hannaford donated more than 25 million pounds of food to hunger relief organizations and prevented 65 million pounds of food waste from reaching landfills. Hannaford employs nearly 30,000 associates and is based in Scarborough, Maine. Additional information can be found at Hannaford.com.