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Meijer reduced carbon footprint by nearly 60 percent in three years

meividMidwest retailer Meijer operates one of the largest all-clean diesel fleets in North America. As part of its ongoing green initiatives, the Grand Rapids, MI-based retailer’s fleet utilized innovative technology to improve fuel efficiency and reduce its carbon footprint by nearly 60 percent since it first began implementing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2010 near-zero emissions standards three years ago.

“This is an extremely rewarding achievement that truly speaks to our commitment to the environment,” Rick Keyes, executive vice president of supply chain operations and manufacturing, said in a press release. “Not only are we integrating cutting-edge technology into our business, we’re also working under the philosophy that to be a good company, we must be a good neighbor.”

The Meijer fleet was one of the first in North America to implement the federal clean emissions standards that feature near-zero emissions technology, and today the retailer’s fleet of 170 semi-trucks meets or exceeds those stringent requirements.

As a result of that commitment, the Meijer fleet realized the following: 

  • 47 percent reduction in particulate matter
  • 55 percent reduction in – or 525 U.S. tons of – nitrogen oxide
  • 3 percent reduction in – or 9,300 U.S. tons of – carbon dioxide
  • 5 percent increase in fuel economy, saving 105,570 gallons of fuel each year. In five years, that equals a savings of 527,850 gallons of fuel – or 52,785 barrels of oil.

According to David Hoover, director of outbound logistics, it takes 47 of the new 2010 compliant trucks to equal the same emissions as one of the older trucks they replaced.

“I’m very pleased to say that Meijer is able to cut that down and continue to be environmentally conscious,” Hoover said. “The impact is tremendous because the Meijer fleet makes deliveries to our stores 26 times each week.”

The Meijer fleet is comprised of 170 Freightliner Cascadia trucks that are equipped with new fuel-efficient, reduced-emissions engines. They feature selective catalytic reduction technology that treats nitrogen oxides emissions downstream in the exhaust so the engine can be tuned to run more efficiently and economically. SCR technology consists of an after-treatment catalyst system that allows engine exhaust to be treated with a non-hazardous fluid known as diesel exhaust fluid that reduces harmful nitrogen oxides into simple nitrogen and water.

Banana journey from jungle to supermarket is an amazing ride

tubanividoEver wonder just how bananas get from tropical jungles to suburban supermarkets? It’s quite a journey as Turbana, a leading supplier of bananas and vegetables from Colombia, reveals in this video.

Florida’s Wish Farms 'pixies' get tongue-in-cheek credit for work behind the scenes

video wishThey say anyone who loves their job never works a day in their life. Florida strawberry, blueberry and vegetable giant Wish Farms takes that idea one step further in a series of hilarious videos that present the idea that behind-the-scenes pixies are in fact responsible for the company’s product and success.

This trio of two-minute videos introduces viewers to one of Wish Farms’ primary pixies, then show how he trains others and oversees operations at the company’s fields and packinghouses.

Turbana partners with One Laptop Per Child organization

turbTurbana, a leading supplier of bananas and vegetables from Colombia, has partnered with the One Laptop Per Child organization to bring rugged, durable laptops to remote impoverished area. The goal is to provide access to knowledge that can change lives.

Find out more about the program in this video.

T&A's field-packed lettuce impresses in the field and online

video image2When buyer-segment demand spurred Tanimura & Antle to reintroduce it's field-fresh packaged leaf lettuce, the Salinas-based company had a trick up its sleeve, or at least on its packaging: a personal trip from T&A's fields through its shipping process, into the grocery store and then the kitchen.

Diana McClean, director of marketing for T&A, said the company often entertains its retail trading partners on field tours. "They are always very impressed as to how quickly the product is packed and how very few hands touch that product," she said.

T&A decided that if industry members are impressed, so will consumers. "The most effective way for us to tell this story to shoppers is with video that brings them right into the field with us," she said.

QR codes on the packaging for T&A's field-fresh leaf lettuce do just that by redirecting consumers to videos that take them into the field and offer consumer-specific information, including serving suggestions as well as storage and preparation tips.

"The addition of the video series and the QR code on the packaging emphasizes just how fresh these products are and conveys the limited amount of handling they experience throughout the harvest and packaging process," said Rick Antle, chief executive officer of T&A. "This is critical in distinguishing our products from processed varieties."

T&A's packaging also increases shelf life by 11 days and reduces shrink in the produce departments an average of 20 percent. Consumers share in the benefits: "With our field-fresh wrapped leaf lettuce, you get a full head of beautiful fresh lettuce that hasn't already been trimmed down at the store," Caitlin Antle points out to consumers in one of the videos. "Our field-fresh wrapped leaf lettuce is a great value because of how much more lettuce you get in each bag."

T&A spends most of its promotional dollars promoting to the trade, but its packaging, complete with the QR code and other information, is a very effective way to communicate directly with the consumer.

"We remain committed to building up our video library to meet consumer and trade demand for engaging content about our products that is easy to consume and share," McClean said.