On June 4, Program Manager Peter Cooke spoke about Manomet’s Grocery Stewardship Certification (GSC) at the Greater Portland Sustainability mini-conference in Maine.


The GSC is the nation’s first and only supermarket sustainability certification. The Manomet Center launched a pilot version of the certification with Hannaford Supermarkets in 2012. Now, 36 stores have become certified and a total of 96 have enrolled in the program.


At the conference, he spoke to an audience of about 75 people about how the GSC helps grocery stores reduce their environmental footprint, addressing things like energy consumption, water use, waste management, product sourcing and a variety of other sustainability measures. The program also works with store management to improve sustainability scores over time.


“A 12-store district in the GSC would expect annual savings of 3.6 million gallons of water, 2 million kilowatt hours of electricity and 12 million pounds of solid waste annually,” Cooke said. “The same 12-store district would reduce its yearly greenhouse gas emissions by 103 million pounds.”


The conference, which was sponsored by the Greater Portland Sustainability Council and hosted by the University of Southern Maine, featured speakers on the topics of food and agriculture, infrastructure, outreach and education, university sustainability and green practices.


“The presentation was well received,” Cooke said. “Many of the sustainability professionals, students, and members of the general public attending the conference were very interested in the GSC program and how to get their local grocery stores involved.”


Cooke handed out cards that people can bring to their local grocery stores, use to check for whether the stores use sustainable practices and present to store managers. If you are interested in the sustainability of your local grocery store, you can download a copy of the card here.


To learn more about the GSC program, visit http://www.manomet.org/gsc.


Like the GSC on facebook at www.facebook.com/grocerystewards and follow the program on twitter at www.twitter.com/grocerystewards.


– Haley Jordan