Last updated on August 16th, 2012 at 12:04 pm
Ahold USA appears for the first time on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) list of the largest green power purchases. The company ranks No. 7 on the EPA’s Top 20 Retail list and No. 30 on the National Top 50 list. Ahold USA is purchasing more than 149 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually, which is enough green power to meet 7 percent of the organization’s electricity use. Ahold USA is buying renewable energy certificates (RECs) from 3Degrees. In addition, Ahold USA is generating green power from its on-site renewable energy systems that demonstrates a proactive choice to switch away from traditional sources of electricity generation and support cleaner renewable energy alternatives, according to the company.
“Reducing our carbon footprint is a primary tenet of Ahold USA’s main corporate responsibility priorities—which helps us minimize our impact on the environment while at the same time making operations more efficient,” said Jihad Rizkallah, VP of store planning for Ahold USA. “Being recognized by the EPA for our green power purchases highlights our on-going efforts and commitment to reduce our electricity consumption and expand our renewable and clean energy portfolio.”
The EPA recently updated each of its National Top Partner lists, highlighting some of America’s largest green power purchasers. Each list highlights EPA Green Power Partners that have completed the largest annual voluntary purchases through Jan. 5. Green power is electricity that is generated from environmentally preferable renewable resources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, biogas, biomass, and low-impact hydro. Purchases of green power help accelerate the development of new renewable energy capacity nationwide and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector.
“EPA is excited to welcome Ahold USA as a Green Power Partner and congratulates them on making the list of the Top 50 largest green power purchases,” said Blaine Collison, director of EPA’s Green Power Partnership. “By opting to purchase renewable energy, Ahold USA is helping to grow the nation’s green power market while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution.”
According to the U.S. EPA, Ahold USA’s green power purchase of more than 149 million kWh is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of more than 20,000 passenger vehicles per year, or the CO2 emissions from the electricity use of nearly 13,000 average American homes annually.
From stores to distribution centers and corporate support offices, the company has a strong focus on greener efforts. Its newest stores are built with innovative green building technologies that reduce energy consumption, conserve water and reduce the environmental impact of operations. Ahold USA also continues to help its retail divisions make existing stores more energy efficient by utilizing energy efficient light bulbs, turning lights down during off hours, improving the efficiency of refrigerated display cases by replacing open frozen food cases with closed door ones.
Ahold USA has been developing its renewable and clean energy portfolio since 2008. Roof mounted solar photovoltaic systems at 13 Ahold USA stores generate between 7 and 13 percent of the store’s annual electricity requirements. In addition to solar power, the Ahold USA team worked with its New England division to construct its first fuel cell project at a Stop & Shop in Torrington, Conn., which consumes natural gas to produce electricity and waste heat. The electricity being generated provides 95 percent of the store’s annual electricity requirements and the waste heat offsets the gas consumption required to heat the air and hot water for the store.
Ahold USA is part of Ahold, a Dutch-based international food retailing group that operates supermarkets in the United States and Europe. Ahold USA supports four regional Divisions – Stop & Shop New England, Stop & Shop New York Metro, Giant Landover, and Giant Carlisle—that together operate more than 750 supermarkets with approximately 115,000 associates in 14 states and the District of Columbia along with Peapod, a leading e-commerce grocery shopping/delivery service.