Brookshire Grocery Co. is reporting record results from the first eight months of its Let’s Go Green Together recycling campaign. The campaign, headed by a sustainability task force, has introduced new recycling and conservation efforts throughout the company and to customers.
Recycling is nothing new to BGC, whose manufacturing arm includes extensive fluid, cultured and frozen dairy processing operations. The company has corporately recycled cardboard for more than 30 years. However, since the start of the campaign, BGC has seen a tremendous increase in the amount of cardboard, paper and plastic recycled. Since the campaign's start in October, paper and plastic totals have already met or surpassed those of last year. That increase is due, in part, to newly installed recycling bins placed at each store’s entrance and in office and manufacturing facilities. Customers and employees are encouraged to recycle their plastic bags and bottles. BGC is one of the first grocery retailers in the area to accept polyethylene terephthalate bottles for recycling. The company’s executive committee also has encouraged employees to use less paper, which has resulted in a decrease in office paper use for the first time in company history.
BGC also is encouraging customers to Go Green not only by recycling, but also by using the company’s new reusable canvas shopping bags. Currently, customers are given a five-cent discount on their grocery bill for each reusable bag they bring in. Other promotions to encourage the use of these durable bags are being developed.
BGC has been introducing the latest technologies in lighting and cooling in all stores, offices and manufacturing facilities in an effort to use less energy. Some stores include auto shut-off lighting and skylights as a means of energy conservation. Retail and manufacturing facilities are using new technologies to reduce refrigerant charges and reduce CO2 leakage.
The company’s 71-truck fleet has implemented new procedures to improve efficiencies in the way product is delivered to stores. BGC is experimenting with super-single tires that conserve fuel and reduce the weight of the truck and trailer. Tests also are being conducted using nitrogen for tire inflation to reduce heat build-up as the tire travels. Other logistics initiatives include a maximum speed for trucks, experimentation with aerodynamic fins for trailers, reduction of delivery frequency when possible, using the pin-wheeling method for loading trucks to increase capacity and the introduction of hybrid cars for high-mileage drivers, among others. BGC also joined the EPA’s SmartWay Transport Program to achieve the company’s environmental and fuel efficiency goals within three years.
“We have always been an environmentally conscious company,” said Greg Nordyke, senior vice president of corporate development for BGC. “Now we are actively promoting recycling and conservation initiatives in all aspects of the company. We are all working hard to find ways to be sustainable, and we are proud to offer these steps to our customers and employees.”