In Northwest Indiana, shoppers know that the name Strack &Van Til is synonymous with high quality, great value and outstanding customer service. But, did you know that Strack & Van Til is also committed to saving our planet?

The folks at Strack & Van Til are trailblazers when it comes to preserving our environment, having established protocols for conserving energy, reducing waste, recycling and promoting sustainability since 2014.

“Our goal is to reduce our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from energy and waste by 40% by 2023,” said Don Erminger, Strack & Van Til director of facilities and operations.

To achieve this goal, the grocery chain has reduced its GHG emissions by 31% from electricity since 2014. This is equivalent to GHG emissions of 2,704 cars driven or the heating of 1,470 homes for one year.

Strack & Van Til is conserving natural gas, as well.

“Since 2014, we’ve reduced our GHG emissions by 10% from natural gas,” Erminger noted. “This is equivalent to the GHG emissions of 139 cars driven for one year or the heating of 75 homes over the same time period.”

Overall, since 2014, Strack & Van Til has reduced its GHG emissions from total energy use by 28%, which is equal to one year of GHG emissions from 2,843 cars driven or 1,545 homes heated.

Recycling also plays a big part in Strack & Van Til’s environmental initiative.

“Since late 2017, we now divert 17% of our trash from landfills,” explained Erminger. “This is equivalent to 1,735 metric tonnes of greenhouse gas eliminated, of which 1,082 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. Thus far, Strack & Van Til has diverted 594 tons of waste that would have ended up in a landfill, recycling 436 tons of mixed recycling in 2019 alone.

The final piece of the sustainability puzzle is conserving water. Since 2018, the grocery chain has reduced water use by 13%, the equivalent of filling six and a half Olympic-size swimming pools.

“The key to the success of these programs is the contribution made by our ‘Indiana Made’ store Green Teams led by store associates to help us steward best practices in energy, waste and water conservation across all our stores’ staff and departments,” Erminger said. “We established the Green Team program in 2014, and we still meet every three months to share success stories, track our results and continue our education.

“At Strack & Van Til, we make our customers’ lives easier by offering the best quality food in all situations,” said Erminger. “We also are committed to making those lives better by doing everything we can to help ensure the sustainability of our environment for the future.”