Sustainability at Giant Eagle

Sustainability at Giant Eagle

At Giant Eagle, we are passionate about building stronger and healthier communities. That’s why we are undertaking a renewed environmental sustainability platform focused on achieving significant milestones related to:

  • Plastics – Committed to eliminating all single-use plastics from our operations by 2025
  • Carbon Emissions – Committed to achieving 50 percent carbon neutrality by 2030 and net zero carbon emissions by 2040
  • Waste – Future commitment forthcoming
  • Sustainable Products – Future commitment forthcoming
  • Team Member Engagement – Future commitment forthcoming

Our First Big Step — Eliminating All Single-Use Plastics

In December 2019, we announced our ambitious commitment to eliminate all single-use plastics by 2025. While the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to pause our most public-facing demonstration of this commitment — the elimination of single-use plastic bags — important work in other areas of the company has continued:

  • We have partnered with vertical farming pioneer, Fifth Season, to reduce plastic packaging on leafy greens, lettuces and salad blends by 40% per package with a post-consumer, recycled bottom tray and top-seal film technology.
  • We have partnered with Cameron’s Coffee to bring in a line of EcoPods that use certified compostable plant-based materials like lids made from paper and a compostable ring made from corn and beets.
  • In the outer packaging of our new Great to Go fresh meal kits, we have used biodegradable compressed recycled paper.
  • We are working with numerous beer partners and have brought in a number of breweries who use much more sustainable packaging and processes. One example is The Brew Kettle who uses biodegradable six-pack rings made out of spent grain from the brewing process.
  • In Beauty, a few amazing products we sell include zero-packaging soap from Zum, new shampoo bars from Love Beauty and Planet and biodegradable tooth brushes and other oral care products from Humble Oral Care.
  • We are also working across our Own Brands product assortment to collaborate with leaders on sustainable packaging that we look to have in stores soon.

As these success stories progress, many more will begin. We are also actively engaged with Team Members, guests and our communities regarding the relaunch of our single-use plastic bag initiative. During the short four-month time frame in 2020 that our initial elimination pilot took place, we prevented more than 20 million single-use plastic bags from being used. We are eager to reinvigorate our progress on this important effort.

We appreciate everyone’s support as we continue this journey, including community leaders at the local, national and global levels. Among those is Greenpeace, which has ranked Giant Eagle first among all retailers in its annual listing of food retailers committed to fighting against single-use plastics.

Our Next Ambitious Goal — Achieve Net Zero Carbon Emissions by 2040

The United States Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the average supermarket emits the equivalent of 6.4 million pounds of carbon dioxide annually via refrigerants and electricity consumption. To improve its impact on the climate, Giant Eagle announced today its commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040, with an initial target of 50 percent carbon dioxide reduction by 2030.

A Leader in Reduction Efforts to Date
In the past eight years alone, Giant Eagle has demonstrated our leadership by reducing the carbon dioxide emitted throughout our operations by 22 percent. This was accomplished through numerous efforts, including the conversion of approximately 70 percent of our truck fleet to alternative energy, LED retrofitting and more efficient heating and cooling.

The Roadmap to Net Zero Carbon
We will build on our progress to date with an investment of $100 million over the next 10 years to reach important milestones including:

  • 100 percent conversion of Giant Eagle’s 200-plus truck fleet to alternative energy
  • Infrastructure improvements that target carbon reduction and energy efficiency such as IOT solutions and greener HVAC systems
  • Smart lighting solutions that use automation and innovation
  • Investments into green energy solutions including direct green power purchasing agreements and other renewable power investments
  • Investments into negative emissions technologies which include carbon capture, soil sequestration and reforestation

Giant Eagle’s zero carbon commitment is inclusive of the electricity, refrigerant and fuel used to make its stores, retail support centers and corporate offices operate as well as the energy needed to move goods and people with its truck fleet.