Hannaford Supermarkets, Scarborough, Maine, is said to be the first retail food chain nationwide to use Manomet’s Grocery Stewardship Certification (GSC) program to benchmark its annual sustainability progress.

“The Grocery Stewardship Certification program provides Hannaford with tools to quantify and benchmark how our stores are saving energy, reducing waste and cutting greenhouse gas emissions,” says George Parmenter, manager of sustainability for Hannaford. “We work hard to implement a comprehensive sustainability program in each of our stores and at our corporate headquarters, so that we can minimize our environmental impact. The GSC helps us to do that.”

As a result of these operating practices, Hannaford saves 78,000 tons of waste from going to landfills, nearly 97 million gallons of water from being used and more than 261,000 tons of greenhouse gases from being released annually.

In 2015, Hannaford saved more than $23 million, an average of $125,000 per store, through its sustainability practices. The total value of sustainability in 2015 includes an additional $5.4 million in savings from newly measurable practices that were not quantified by the GSC in 2014.

“Hannaford was the first food retailer in the nation to enroll all of their stores in the GSC, and continues to demonstrate that they are leading the pack when it comes to sustainability,” says Peter Cooke, program manager of the GSC program, which is managed by Manomet, a non-profit organization headquartered in Plymouth, Mass. “Now, nearly 700 stores and more than a dozen retailers later, Hannaford has stepped up again with an annual benchmarking to show how sustainability is truly embedded into their business model. We look forward to continuing to work with them on their path to save money and resources through operational sustainability.”

The GSC program is run by Manomet’s Sustainable Economies program and is said to be the nation’s first and only grocery sustainability certification program. The purpose of the GSC program is to substantially reduce the environmental impacts (waste, water use, energy use and greenhouse gas emissions) of grocery stores, consumers and entire supply chains.