Safeway wins state’s highest environmental honor

SACRAMENTO Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger this week announced that Safeway has won the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award for its promotion of green business practices and implementing significant environmental initiatives throughout its operations.

The award, California’s most prestigious environmental honor, is given yearly to individuals or groups who have demonstrated exceptional leadership for voluntary achievements in conserving California’s resources. Safeway’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Sustainability Initiative, begun in 2006, focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions through the use of solar power, wind power, alternative fuels, green construction strategies, employee education and consumer outreach.

“I applaud Safeway’s climate initiative which is a good model for companies looking to reduce their carbon footprint,” said Linda Adams, California’s secretary for Environmental Protection. “California’s environmental leadership is supported by companies like Safeway that demonstrate the business world can make substantive changes that benefit the environment.”

Safeway launched the comprehensive, long-term initiative last year, in order to decrease the company’s carbon footprint and improve air quality. Toward that end, Safeway’s energy and fuel team calculated the total amount of carbon dioxide emitted annually by its operating facilities and the transportation fleet, and implemented cost-effective measures to dramatically reduce emissions.

“What makes this award so exciting is that it recognizes all the efforts made throughout Safeway to reduce our carbon footprint,” said Joe Pettus, senior vice president of Fuel and Energy. “We are utilizing innovative and creative means—from wind and solar power to energy efficient equipment and consumer education—to make meaningful changes that are helping the environment. This award acknowledges a tremendous team effort.”

Safeway is the largest retail purchaser of green wind energy in California and one of the top 25 Fortune 500 companies purchasing green energy nationwide, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. More information is available at Safeway.com.

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