“We don’t inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” ~ Native American proverb

Saving our environment and protecting the Earth is a big responsibility, but actions taken in each community — no matter how big or small — can really add up. Strack & Van Til understands just how important it is to make our Earth a better place for the next generation.

Just in time for Earth Day, Monday, April 22, the grocery chain is proud to announce its progress toward reaching 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. 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,” says Don Erminger, Strack & Van Til director of facilities. “We established the Green Team program in 2014 and meet every three months to share success stories, track our results and continue our education.”

Erminger notes that Strack & Van Til is committed to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from energy and waste by 40% by 2024. To achieve this goal, the grocery chain has taken the following steps toward sustainability and good stewardship:

  • Reduced GHG emissions from electricity by 42% since 2014. This is equivalent to GHG emissions of 4,096 cars driven or the energy use of 2,245 homes for one year.
  • Cut GHG emissions from natural gas by 16% since 2014. This is comparable to the GHG emissions of 261 cars driven or the energy use of 143 homes for a year.
  • Overall, since 2014, Strack & Van Til has reduced its GHG emissions from total energy use by 38%, which is equal to one year of GHG emissions from 4,357 cars driven or the energy use of 2,388 homes.

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

“Since late 2017, we now send 30% less trash to landfills,” explains Erminger. “This is equal to 1,591 metric tonnes of GHG eliminated. Today 59% of our total waste from all sources is now diverted from landfills.”

Highlights include the program to recycle organic waste from produce and dairy, which began in 2018. Since then, Strack & Van Til has diverted 1,895 tons of waste that would have ended up in a landfill. In 2023, the grocer recycled 436 tons of mixed recycling and 4,678 tons of cardboard and diverted 260 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 25%, the amount needed to fill 13.2 Olympic-size swimming pools.

Earth is the only planet we have, and we want to preserve it for the next generation. Join Strack & Van Til in helping to ensure the sustainability of our environment for the future.

Happy Earth Day from Strack & Van Til.