April 17, 2015
Contact: Annmarie Seldon
Stop & Shop New England Division
STOP & SHOP CELEBRATES EARTH DAY AS THE COMPANY BREAKS GROUND ON ITS FIRST ANAEROBIC DIGESTER AT THE FREETOWN DISTRIBUTION CENTER
State-of-the-Art “Digester” is Part of Company’s Goal to Reach “Zero” Waste by 2020
Quincy, MA (April 17, 2015) – As Earth Day approaches, The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company LLC announces the groundbreaking of the company’s first anaerobic digester at its Distribution Center in Freetown, MA. The state-of-the-art digester is part of the company’s long-term goal to divert 90% of waste going to landfills. As part of these sustainability efforts, Stop & Shop aims to donate and divert as much unsold food as possible, while helping those in the communities in which they serve.
The anaerobic digester, which breaks ground on April 17th, uses innovative technology to turn organic material into clean, sustainable power. Food from stores that goes unsold, or is unable to be donated to regional food banks or local farms, is transported to the distribution center. Then, by recreating the natural process of anaerobic digestion (an organically occurring water purification system found in wetlands) carbon in the organic material is cleanly and efficiently converted into a biogas and used as a power source.
“We are excited to begin the groundbreaking of this facility, as it’s a clear proof point of our commitment to reducing waste across our supply chain,” said Jihad Rizkallah vice president of responsible retailing for Ahold USA. “Once operational, the anaerobic digester will create approximately 1.25 megawatts of clean, based load electricity, which would offset up to 40% of the Freetown facility’s energy use. This is just one of the ways we strive to be a better neighbor, and a responsible retailer in the communities we serve.”
Stop & Shop continues its efforts to reduce waste in stores and divert safe, consumable food to area food banks through its Meat The Needs Program. Through this program, Stop & Shop safely freezes, and then donates protein rich meat that is pulled from sale before its sell-by date to food banks.
“We are so fortunate to partner with Stop & Shop on this program as protein is a much needed staple for our network of food pantries and the individuals and families they help,” said Jean McMurray, executive director of the Worcester County Food Bank. Since the implementation of the program Stop & Shop has donated 716,624 pounds of meat.”
With “Meat the Needs,” Ahold USA and its retail divisions donated more than $30 million in 2014 to regional food bank partners, 85% of which would otherwise been thrown away.
The digester is anticipated to begin full operation by the first quarter of 2016.
About Stop & Shop
The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company LLC employs approximately 59,000 associates and operates 395 stores throughout Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey. The company helps support local communities fight hunger, combat childhood cancer and promote general health and wellness – with emphasis on children’s educational and support programs. In its commitment to be a sustainable company, Stop & Shop is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council and EPA’s Smart Way program and has been recognized by the EPA for the superior energy management of its stores. Stop & Shop is an Ahold company. To learn more about Stop & Shop, visit www.stopandshop.com or www.facebook.com/stopandshop.