We at Haggen take pride in our long history of leading the way in sustainability and conservation. From sourcing and recycling eco-friendly materials to investing in energy efficient lighting and equipment, we love finding new ways to lower our environmental impact, but our most effective initiative by far is one that has been central to our business all along: buying locally.
In addition to minimizing our carbon footprint, buying from nearby farms, fisheries, ranches, wineries and other businesses enables us to delight our guests with an incredible selection of fine local foods while supporting those who serve as environmental stewards to more than 15 million acres of Northwest lands and waters.
Recycling, waste reduction and other environmentally responsible practices have been implemented for many years by Haggen Food & Pharmacy stores in Washington and Oregon.
With headquarters in beautiful Bellingham, Washington, we are well aware of the importance of sustainability and conservation and how much those principles mean to our guests and neighbors. We continuously evaluate and test products to reduce our impact on the environment.
- Haggen Food & Pharmacy stores have recycled their cardboard waste for over 50 years, annually recycling over 6,000 tons that is converted into paper bags, essentially closing the loop and preserving resources.
- Since 2004, Haggen Food & Pharmacy has recycled over 250,000 gallons of used cooking oil for biodiesel. Biodiesel is made from fermenting cooking oil or other organic materials (essentially distilling) and turning into a fuel that can be used in any diesel powered machinery or vehicles, so cars and trucks can use biodiesel. Our cooking oil is sold to Standard Biodiesel of Arlington, Wa who provide containers for oil collection and picks up at our stores on a scheduled basis, refines it and distributes it to fuel retailers across the state.
- Since 1998, Haggen Food & Pharmacy stores have recycled their used fluorescent lights. We return them to the manufacturer (absorbing the cost of the return) and thereby keeping harmful chemicals, including mercury, out of landfills.
- Beginning in 1993, Haggen Food & Pharmacy stores have provided in-store recycling collection centers for glass, cans and plastic bags. We also recycle cans from production uses and plastic and strapping used in securing products in transportation.
- Haggen Food & Pharmacy stores offer retail compost that contains material collected from the stores, composted and returned to our stores to sell to our guests — a 100% recycling effort and the first in the Northwest.
- At Haggen Food & Pharmacy, IT Enterprise Operations evaluates and recycles all known electronic recyclable items at the stores along with our partner recycling organizations. A total of 19,000 pounds were picked up and recycled. We maintain a continued effort throughout the company to be efficient, earth friendly and community sensitive regarding electronic waste. It is part of our continued effort to remove any old and defective equipment from the stores.
- We appreciate our Crews help and response in this effort, and we will continue to participate in the effort to recycle this waste responsibly.
- In 2009 alone, we recycled 50,000 gallons of used cooking oil for biodiesel.
- Haggen Food & Pharmacy stores have worked with our suppliers to reduce or redesign containers and packaging to reduce the size of packages and to use recycled content where possible.
- Our logistics provider and our wholesaler/distribution center have partnered with shipping companies to collect wooden pallets and shift to reusable pallets with recycled plastic content. Haggen Food & Pharmacy has encouraged the use of plastic pallets by our suppliers for over 10 years.
- We are currently working with selected growers to ship various produce items from the farm to the store in plastic reusable carriers, reducing the use of wood packing crates and wax-coated cardboard.
- Beginning in 1984, Haggen Food & Pharmacy stores have used environmentally responsible flooring systems that implement quarry byproducts and cement. These flooring systems never wear out, are environmentally friendly, are easier to clean and require no cleansers or chemicals.
- Where appropriate, natural retention ponds have been built adjacent to our stores, catching rain runoff from our parking lots and allowing the water to re-enter aquifers rather than running into storm systems. These “Bioswales” also become homes to various aquatic wildlife and provide nesting habitat for birds and other mammals.
- All of our store locations use efficient electronic ballasts for their lighting systems, removing outdated and environmentally harmful magnetic ballasts over 10 years ago.
- We were one of the first in our marketing area to offer reusable bags. All of our reusable bags are recyclable.
- In 2004, Haggen Food & Pharmacy stores switched to 100-percent environmentally friendly cleaning and sanitizing chemicals and we continue to research opportunities. We recently discontinued using bleached paper towels in our operations and are switching to natural kraft towels at all locations.
- For almost 30 years, Haggen Food & Pharmacy has used heat-reclaim systems to heat our stores. The heat generated by our refrigeration systems is captured and stored in the form of hot water. It then is recirculated through our HVAC systems as needed for heating, dramatically reducing the consumption of natural gas and electricity.
- Daylighting and skylights have been used by Haggen Food & Pharmacy stores since 1987 to reduce the amount of electricity used to light our stores and to provide a more natural shopping experience.
- We are constantly upgrading our electrical and refrigeration systems to reduce energy consumption. Beginning in 2003, Haggen Food & Pharmacy stores, in close partnership with Puget Sound Energy and Snohomish County PUD, have completed over 50 energy conservation projects, including the replacement of all high-intensity mercury vapor lights with environmentally friendly T-5 fluorescent lights. These projects reduced our energy consumption by over 5 million kilowatt hours per year.
- In just the fourth quarter of 2007, Haggen Food & Pharmacy stores completed 12 conservation upgrades that resulted in further savings of over 1.4 million Kwh per year.
- Haggen Food & Pharmacy stores have reduced their electrical consumption by the equivalent of energy used by 50,000 typical homes.
- In 2005, Haggen Food & Pharmacy was recognized by the Snohomish County PUD as a leader in energy conservation and for several months was featured in public service announcements, offering tips and suggestions on reducing energy consumption both for residential and commercial applications.
- For over five years, Haggen Food & Pharmacy stores have partnered with our utility providers and lighting manufacturers to offer low-cost compact fluorescent lights for home usage.
- Again working with our utility providers, we have installed low-flow spray rinse heads in our wash and prep areas, reducing water usage by over 2.5 gallons per minute at each sink.
- Beginning in 2004, Haggen Food & Pharmacy began composting waste at store level and now has nine stores currently on composting programs. Another five stores will be added soon and the company goal is to have all stores composting their waste by the end of 2009. At the locations currently participating, over 75 percent of waste is diverted from landfills composting facilities. Haggen Food & Pharmacy stores currently compost the waste volume equivalent of over 5,000 residential homes. Haggen Food & Pharmacy has been recognized as a leader in grocery composting initiatives by our environmental partner, Cedar Grove Composting.
- Occupancy light sensors have been installed that turn the lights off in our store offices, backrooms and storage areas when unoccupied. More motion-activated light controls have been installed on our vending machines, turning the lighting off when no one is near.
- Since 1979, Haggen Food & Pharmacy has used automatic lighting control systems to adjust lighting to business and occupancy conditions. These controls shut down unnecessary lights later in the evening, when not needed or when adequate lighting is available using our daylight and skylight systems. Parking lot lights and store signage are controlled by photocell and electronic controls to ensure that the lights are on only when needed.