Hannaford Supermarket employees are embracing Manomet’s new Grocery Stewardship Certification (GSC) system and have even become competitive about their store’s sustainability score, a senior Hannaford sustainability official said during a talk in Boston on May 9.


The GSC is the nation’s first and only supermarket sustainability certification. Manomet launched a pilot version of the program with Hannaford in September 2012. So far, 93 Hannaford Supermarkets have been certified.


George Parmenter, who is in charge of corporate responsibility and sustainability at Hannaford parent company Delhaize, spoke about the GSC last week during the joint appearance in Boston.


“This is work we can be really proud of,” Parmenter said. “This is the kind of thing you go home and tell the family about.”


The Grocery Stewardship Certification helps grocery store leadership reduce their environmental footprint by addressing energy consumption, water use, waste management, product sourcing and a variety of other sustainability measures.


Manomet Program Manager Peter Cooke developed the GSC and tracks the resource and financial savings the program generates. Speaking with Parmenter, Cooke said that 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. The same 12-store district would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 103 million pounds.


Cooke said the pilot project with Hannaford has proven successful.


“Hannaford stores are using the GSC program to provide context to employees on sustainability practices, provide for accountability and consistent environmental performance at each store,” Cooke said. “Grocery represents such an important business sector with regard to sustainability. The GSC provides a right-now assessment for these businesses and a mechanism to keep improving.  The program will track large scale environmental benefits as we scale up and spread to other companies and regions.”


– Dave McGlinchey