The UTZ program stands for the sustainable production of coffee, tea (including rooibos and herbal teas) and cocoa. Products that have the UTZ label show you that the coffee, tea or cocoa has been sourced in a sustainable manner. To become certified, farms have to follow the strict UTZ Code of Conduct, which offers expert guidance on better farming methods, working conditions and care for nature. This in turn leads to better crops, a better income, a better environment and a better life for farmers, workers and their families.
our commitment to the environment
Taking care of our customers and the environment is important - it is a year-round commitment. Here are just a few ways we are working to protect our planet and serve your communities.
EPA Green Power Partner
Ahold USA, parent company of Giant is pleased to announce that it appears as No. 18 on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA's) National Top 100 list of the largest green power users from the Green Power Partnership. Ahold USA improved its Green Power ranking from last year, moving from No. 35 to 18 on the Top 100 list and from No. 5 to 4 on the Top 30 Retail list. The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that encourages organizations to use green power to reduce the environmental impacts associated with electricity use.
responsible product promises
Protecting the planet means protecting our future. At Giant we work with suppliers to obtain responsibly sourced products and are continuously looking for new ways to improve our processes.
Bright Farms: Through their greenhouse in Culpeper, VA, they grow produce that is both pesticide and GMO free, picked at its freshest and shipped to our stores within 24 hours. Their process is not only good for you, it is also good for the environment. They use 80% less water, 90% less land and 95% less shipping fuel than conventional produce companies.
Palm Oil: Giant is a member of Rountable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). The RSPO aims to move towards an industry-wide approach to sustainable palm oil cultivation. Giant is working with suppliers to transition to sustainable palm oil in its store brand products.
Coffee, Tea, and Cocoa: We are always looking for ways to be environmentally and socially responsible. This means sourcing products that meet strict standards, including better farming methods and treatment of workers. By shopping for products with the Rainforest Alliance Certified ™, Fair Trade, or UTZ certified logos, you support these social and environmental practices. Click on the links below to learn more.
100% of the seafood sold from our service counters is sustainably and responsibly sourced. In addition, 100% of our Nature’s Promise and Giant seafood items are sustainably sourced – including frozen shrimp and canned tuna.
In 2015 we diverted 88% of our waste to someplace other than a landfill – through donations, recycling or composting. Our goal is 90% by 2020!
Giant donates edible food to those in need – while also keeping food out of the landfills. Last year we turned extra food into over 2.6 million meals meals and donated over 1.1 million* pounds of meat for our communities. (*calculation based on Feeding America's formula of $1.72/pound of food)
Recycling is also important. During 2015 we saved over 660 thousand trees by recycling cardboard. And we’re saving more than just trees! Each ton of recycled cardboard saves 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, 3 cubic yards of landfill space, 4,000 kilowatts of energy and 7,000 gallons of water.
better bag programs
For the past 5 years, we have been committed to reducing the number of plastic bags used in our stores. By packing better bags, we avoided giving over 352 million plastic bags to customers since 2011 – enough bags to circle earth 2 1/2 times! But we aren’t doing this alone. All of our customers who use reusable bags and who recycle their plastic bags help in our commitment to reduce the number of plastic bags sent to landfills each year. Every time you use a reusable bag, you are joining us in our commitment!
All of our stores also offer plastic bag recycling. Bring your plastic shopping bags to our stores and we’ll send them along with other plastics to a recycling company to become composite decking. To date, we’ve collected millions of pounds of bags for recycling.
Energy conservation is an important step in maintaining a healthy planet. During 2015 we completed numerous energy saving projects, including installing solar panels on store roofs, converting stores to energy efficient LED lighting, and installing HVAC equipment controls that decrease electricity consumption. We also installed submetering in stores that helped us to find places where we could be wasting energy. These projects have helped us reduce our energy use by over 70 million kilowatts annually. That has the same impact as removing 10,162 passenger vehicles from the road for one year!
Ahold, the parent company of Giant, received the following distinctions in 2015:
- EPA: Green Power Leadership Ranking (Ahold was ranked #4 of the top 30 Retailers for green power), Green Power Partnership Ranking (Ahold was ranked # 18 on the EPA's National Top 100 list of the largest green power users), EPA Green Power Partner Award (for achievements in advancing the nation's renewable energy market and reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change)
- ACE (Always Conserving Energy) Award
- NEEP (Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships): Northeast Business Leader for Energy Efficiency
- 3 Degrees: Certificate of Environmental Leadership (in support of green power)
- 75th LEED Certified Store (LEED Silver)