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Big Y’s Store Remodels Focus On Sustainability First

Big Y Foods logo

Big Y has been making significant strides in enhancing its stores across the region, opening 26 locations since 2022. These remodels align with the company’s broader strategy to focus on sustainability and modernize its retail spaces to create a more enjoyable shopping experience.

The new store design incorporates modern elements to inspire guests and reflect each store’s local community. The remodeled stores have been strategically laid out to benefit shoppers and associates, streamlining operations and creating a more pleasant environment. They have also added major energy efficiency upgrades across Connecticut and Massachusetts.

“Whenever we remodel or build new stores, we always try to upgrade to energy efficient equipment, motors, refrigeration systems, etc.,” said Maggie D’Amour, senior manager of environmental social governance.

“Big Y’s commitment to sustainability and community-focused design is evident in these remodels. As we continue to invest in our stores, we aim to meet customers wherever they are, providing a modern, highly-connected shopping experience.”

Big Y has executed the following in each store it has remodeled: 

  • High efficiency rooftop and refrigeration systems;
  • LED lighting interior and exterior (95 percent of stores);
  • Light dimming systems;
  • Energy Star certified equipment;
  • Building energy management systems;
  • Night curtains or glass door retrofits on open refrigerated cases;
  • High-efficiency motors;
  • Capture and utilization of waste heat;
  • Cycling anti-sweat heaters;
  • Waterless urinals;
  • Low-flow water controls on sinks; and
  • Energy-efficient hand dryers.

As a result, these stores are saving 9.3 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, the equivalent of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by removing 840 gasoline-powered vehicles from area roads for a year.

In addition to the remodeled stores, Big Y also installed a 1.4-megawatt solar array on the rooftop of its new fresh and local distribution center. The installation is comprised of 3,100 solar panels and the renewable energy generated by the system will offset about 70 percent of the distribution center’s electric requirements.

Expanded in 2021, Big Y’s fresh and local distribution center provides local farmers and food producers with a one-stop location that saves them time and money as they don’t need to deliver to individual stores. In addition to supporting their communities, farms and other small businesses, it saves travel time, thus cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions. It also serves as a hub for all fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the year.

Over the past three years, there has been a company-wide effort to be Earth-friendly. These initiatives demonstrate the commitment to expanding solar energy adoption and addressing environmental challenges. Overall, these changes have reduced its total energy consumption by more than 17,800,000 kWh.

Read more sustainability news from The Shelby Report.

About the author

Sommer Stockton

Web Editor

Sommer joined The Shelby Report in January 2022 after graduating from Brenau University in Gainesville, GA with a B.A. and M.A. in Communications and Media Studies. Sommer is excited to learn about the grocery industry and share her findings with The Shelby Report's readers!

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