“We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.”
– Native American Proverb

Preserving our planet is a promise to make it a better place for the next generation. The Earth is what we all have in common, and every action to make it more sustainable and livable counts. In honor of this year’s Earth Day, April 22, Strack & Van Til is pleased to present the results of its sustainability efforts.

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

“One key to our success is our store Green Teams. Led by our store associates, it’s based on best practices we can use daily in conserving energy and water and recycling waste at our stores,” says Don Erminger, Strack & Van Til director of facilities and operations. “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 2023. To achieve this goal, the grocery chain has done the following:

  • Reduced its GHG emissions from electricity by 31% since 2014. This is equivalent to GHG emissions of 2,707 cars driven or 1,446 homes heated for one year.
  • Cut GHG emissions from natural gas by 12% since 2014. This is comparable to the GHG emissions of 176 cars driven or 94 homes heated for one year.
  • 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 2,883 cars driven or 1,540 homes heated.

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

“Since late 2017, we now divert 19% of our trash from landfills,” explains Erminger. “This is equal to 1,026 metric tons of greenhouse gas eliminated, of which 907 metric tons 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 953 tons of waste that would have otherwise be sent to a landfill, recycling 436 tons in 2020 alone.
  • In 2020, the grocer recycled 5,266 tons of cardboard and diverted 73 tons of waste through the Store to Farm 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 6.2 Olympic-size swimming pools.

Strack & Van Til prides itself on making customers’ lives easier by feeding them. It also is committed to making those lives better by helping ensure the sustainability of our environment for the future.

Happy Earth Day from Strack & Van Til … and “may the forest be with you.”