American novelist Wendell Berry is credited with saying, “The Earth is what we all have in common.”

While preserving the health of the planet depends on people all over the globe, the actions taken in each community — no matter how big or small — can help make the Earth more sustainable and livable. Strack & Van Til understands just how important it is to save and protect our planet and make it a better place for the next generation.

Just in time for Earth Day, on April 22, the grocer is happy to announce its progress in crushing its sustainability goals.

As a trailblazer in the grocery industry, Strack & Van Til has been conserving energy, reducing waste, recycling and promoting sustainability since 2014.

“A big part of our success is the contribution made by our ‘Indiana Made’ store Green Teams. We established the Green Team program in 2014 and meet every three months to share success stories, track our results and continue our education,” says Don Erminger, Strack & Van Til director of facilities and operations. “The Green Teams are led by our store associates to steward best practices in energy, waste and water conservation across all our stores’ staff and departments.”

Erminger notes that Strack & Van Til is committed to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from energy and waste by 40% by 2023. To achieve this goal, the grocery chain has taken the following steps toward sustainability and good stewardship:

  • Reduced GHG emissions from electricity by 39% since 2014. This is equivalent to GHG emissions of 3,448 cars driven or the energy use of 2,016 homes for one year.
  • Cut GHG emissions from natural gas by 11% since 2014. This is comparable to the GHG emissions of 161 cars driven or the energy use of 94 homes for a year.
  • Overall, since 2014, Strack & Van Til has reduced its GHG emissions from total energy use by 35%, which is equal to one year of GHG emissions from 3,609 cars driven or the energy use of 2,110 homes.

Recycling is also an integral part of Strack & Van Til’s environmental initiative.

“Since late 2017, we are now diverting 32% more of our trash from landfills,” explains Erminger. “This is equal to 1,699 metric tonnes of greenhouse gas eliminated, of which 1,515 metric tonnes of greenhouse gas equivalents are from our organic diversion program.”

Highlights include the program to recycle organic waste from produce and dairy, which began in 2018. Since then, Strack & Van Til has diverted 1,592 tons of waste that would have ended up in a landfill. In 2021, the grocer recycled 514 tons of mixed recycling and 4,894 tons of cardboard and diverted 218 tons of waste for reuse by local farmers through the Farm to Table Division Program.

The final piece of the sustainability puzzle is water conservation. Since 2018, Strack & Van Til has reduced water use by 12%, the amount needed to fill 5.8 Olympic-size swimming pools.

Earth is what everyone has in common, and it’s the only planet we’ve got. Join Strack & Van Til in helping to ensure the sustainability of our environment for the future.

Happy Earth Day from Strack & Van Til.