Giant Eagle Inc., the first grocer to operate a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified supermarket in the world, is celebrating Earth Day today with a special Facebook donation drive that will result in up to $10,000 being provided to Allegheny County Parks in the Pittsburgh region and the Cleveland and Columbus Metro Parks.
“Giant Eagle will donate $1 each time our Facebook Earth Day post is ‘Shared’ on Monday,” said Giant Eagle spokesperson Dan Donovan. “With the simple push of a button our customers can promote sustainability and encourage others to enjoy our beautiful regional parks.”
In 2012, the company recycled more than 98 million pounds of cardboard, paper and plastic. Additionally, the company routed millions of pounds of meat trimmings and thousands of gallons of used cooking oil to third-party organizations for use in animal feed. Other efforts the company undertakes include:
• LEED-certified stores: Since opening the world’s first LEED-certified supermarket in Brunswick, Ohio, in 2004, Giant Eagle has made incorporating environmentally friendly features like daylighting, green power purchases and the use of non-ozone-depleting refrigerants into each of its stores a priority, according to a news release. More recently, the company began adding solar roofing technology at select new stores including its Broadview Heights, Ohio, Giant Eagle and two new GetGo fuel and convenience store locations in Pittsburgh. The company has built on its green store features at certain locations and currently has six LEED-certified supermarkets and two LEED-certified GetGo fuel and convenience store locations.
• Expansion of alternative fueling efforts: The company currently offers biodiesel and E-85 fuels in various GetGo locations and hosts electric vehicle charging stations at three Pittsburgh area supermarkets. In July 2011, Giant Eagle also opened a compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station.
• Sustainable foods: Giant Eagle is committed to providing a variety of the freshest and highest quality seafood while being good stewards of the marine environment and fisheries around the world, the release says. Additionally, when seasonally available, Giant Eagle offers a combination of locally grown produce, sourced through in-state farmers, with names of the farms and their locations identified, as well as a variety of natural and organic options.
• Reusable bags: Between 84 and 100 billion plastic bags are used in the U.S. annually, with less than 5 percent of them being recycled. Giant Eagle offers customers both traditional reusable bags for 99 cents as well as reusable hot/cold bags for $2.99.
• EPA partnership: Giant Eagle’s sustainable efforts also include a partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its Energy Star, GreenChill, SmartWay and Green Power programs. In 2012 the EPA recognized six Giant Eagle supermarkets for excellence in energy efficiency and recently had seven Giant Eagle stores participate in its Energy Star 2012 National Building Competition. Additionally, in 2010, Giant Eagle was awarded with an EPA Montreal Protocol Award for its extensive track record and leadership in installing environmentally sustainable business practices throughout its operations.
Founded in 1931, Giant Eagle has 229 supermarkets and 188 fuel and convenience stores throughout western Pennsylvania, north central Ohio, northern West Virginia and Maryland.