This article was originally published on August 24, 2015 by Progressive Grocer. View the original article here. 

Garafalo Markets, also known as Milford Markets LLC, has received Grocery Stewardship Certification from Manomet for five of its ShopRite stores, making them the first supermarkets in the state of Connecticut to earn the designation. Awarded in July, the certification recognizes the company’s commitment to incorporating sustainable best practices.

“We work very hard with our employees to reach those high standards for certification,” said Harry Garafalo, who operates stores in Milford, East Haven, Stratford, West Haven and Hamden, Conn., at the recent FMI/GMA Global Sustainability Summit in Denver. “Most importantly, we focus on reducing our waste, energy usage and water usage to keep our prices as affordable as possible, while recognizing our role as a business and community leader to make the world a more sustainable place for our customers.”

As a result of their sustainable operating practices, the certified stores are annually saving more than 2 million pounds of waste from going to landfills, more than 2 million gallons of water from being used and almost 4,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases from being released.

First and Only

Launched in 2012, Massachusetts-based Manomet’s Grocery Stewardship Certification (GSC) program aims to reduce the environmental impacts (waste, water use, energy use, and greenhouse gas emissions) of grocery stores, consumers and entire supply chains. Other grocers to have earned the certification include Hy-Vee, Hannaford, Natural Grocers, Weis, Whole Foods and, in Canada, Kudrinkos.

“Garafalo Markets performed very well in their assessments,” noted Peter Cooke, GSC program manager. “Their ShopRite stores all easily achieved the GSC certification and we [will work] with them to keep their stores operating in the most sustainable and efficient way possible.”

ShopRite is the registered trademark of Wakefern Food Corp., a Keasbey, N.J.-based retailer-owned cooperative. With more than 250 ShopRite supermarkets in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware and Maryland, ShopRite serves more than 6 million customers each week.