The environmental footprint of the grocery sector in the United States is large. The nation’s 36,000 supermarkets produce about 68.4 million tons of carbon dioxide each year, equivalent to the annual emissions of almost 13 million cars.


In an effort to make this sector more sustainable, Manomet Program Manager Peter Cooke developed the nation’s first and only grocery sustainability certification system.


On May 9, Manomet will host a presentation in Boston on the Grocery Stewardship Certification Program. Cooke and George Parmenter, sustainability manager for Hannaford Supermarkets, will discuss grocery sustainability and the new Manomet certification system.


The program was launched in September 2012 in partnership with the Maine-based Hannaford chain. Over its first eight months, 36 Hannaford stores have been reviewed, and 93 stores are slated to participate.


“The certification program has prevented the emission of an estimated 289,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide across all participating stores and will reduce the amount of waste being thrown out at each store by an estimated 1.8 million pounds annually,” Cooke said. “The implementation of sustainability measures put in place through the certification system equates to an estimated savings of about $35,218 at each store per year, with over $25,000 of that savings resulting from reduced energy consumption.”


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


The presentation will last from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and will be held at Space with a Soul, located at 281 Summer Street in Boston. Admission is free with complimentary appetizers and a cash bar.


To learn more about the event and to register to attend, visit


– Haley Jordan