A grocery store can have as many as 2,000 to 5,000 shoppers per day. People use food retail establishments not only to purchase food, but also to access medicines, banking, automotive repair, and many other essential services. There are few places of business that are as important to the daily life of the average consumer. Unfortunately, all of this has a heavy environmental and social impact. Considering the sheer amount of goods and services consumed at grocery stores and the natural and human resources necessary to produce them and get them there, no business sector has quite the same opportunity to demonstrate the importance of sustainability to our communities than our neighborhood grocery stores. With razor-thin profit margins, can grocery stores afford to reduce their impact, strengthen their communities, and become more sustainable?
In this TEDx Talk, Ratio Institute’s very own Peter Cooke talks about what it means for food retailers to go sustainable. Peter has over 20 years of experience developing sustainability programs, including starting one of the nation’s first green hotel programs. That success led Peter to develop a similar program for Hannaford, New England’s largest grocery chain. In 2012, at Manomet, a sustainability non-profit, Peter founded the Grocery Stewardship Certification (GSC) Program. The GSC was recently acquired by Ratio Institute and is now continuing to help food retailers work towards being sustainable at a greater scale. Peter is a certified ISO 14001 Lead Auditor, a certified Building Operator, and a certified Hazardous Waste Operator. He has also trained as a Commercial Energy Auditor. Peter serves as adjunct faculty for Antioch University, Tufts University, and the University of Maine.
Check out the full TEDx Talk with Peter Cooke below.