Over the last couple of years, one weather crisis after another has had a terrible impact on the people, animals, communities, and businesses we all hold dear. With family in Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Florida, I know firsthand what it feels like to watch helplessly as loved ones’ livelihoods and spirits are crushed by the weight of a hurricane. And around the world so many IGA retailers have been affected by fire, flood, mudslides, tornadoes, and hurricanes that the amazing stories of IGAers rebuilding their businesses and communities have become all too common.
The good news is when you start to do your part to make a difference for the health of our planet, some of that helplessness goes away. The even better news for you as a business owner is that doing what’s right for the planet can also have a big impact on your finances, your team, and your communities—and the IGA Coca-Cola Institute is here to help.
Working in conjunction with the Grocery Stewardship Certification Program, the Institute has created two new courses promoting sustainable behaviors in two critical store areas: energy conservation and waste management. In these courses we reveal that small behavioral changes—like keeping the cooler doors closed, switching off lights when no one is in the room, turning off the faucet while you wash your hands, recycling cardboard, paper, and plastic, distributing food waste for composting or animal feed—can have a big impact on the plant and your bottom line. For example,
"the five energy saving practices outlined in the energy course can save a store over $15,000 a year. But because a dollar of energy efficiency generates more dollars of revenue, those same practices could potentially lead to $270,000 in revenue benefits."
Besides being good for the bottom line, sustainability has an impact on the people we connect with in our stores. As mentioned by Dean Lanchede, author of TheImportance of Sustainability in Food Retailing, “Consumers are often considering a retailer’s reputation as well as its impact on the environment as important facts when selecting where to shop.” Involvement in sustainability also boosts associate engagement and gives them a sense of larger purpose. Sustainability makes us feel connected with the world around us, with the people that inhabit it, and to the ones who will inherit it from us.
Every day in the news and social media we are bombarded with things in this world that need change. Most of them leave us feeling helpless and hopeless. But sustainability—that’s an area where we can make a difference. We can start right here and now, with small changes in behaviors that over time will have an impact on our finances, our team, our communities, and ourselves.
Visit the IGA Coca-Cola Institute website at www.igainstitute.com to enroll in Top 10 Waste Management Best Practices and Top 5 Energy Savers.