As part of doing business as a grocery retailer, many of Ahold Delhaize’s stores generate food waste. One of the company’s top priorities is the reduction of waste going into landfills.
In order to accomplish their sustainability goal, Ahold’s Stop & Shop Supermarket Company opened a state-of-the-art, Green Energy Facility in Freetown, Massachusetts that uses a natural process called "anaerobic digestion" to convert inedible food waste that cannot otherwise be donated, into clean energy.
Courtesy of Ahold Delhaize
Each day, tons of inedible food waste from 208 Stop & Shop stores is brought to the 24,000 square-foot green energy facility to be processed and converted into biogas. The biogas fuels a generator that in turn, generates electricity capable of producing up to 40% of the energy needed to power heating, lighting and air conditioning systems in their adjacent distribution center.
The Stop & Shop Green Energy Facility is unique in that it is the only one of its kind on the East coast, and one of only two like it in the United States. Unlike anaerobic digesters used in manufacturing or agriculture, the Green Energy Facility not only diverts food waste from landfills, it transforms it into clean energy. In addition, it generates a nutrient-rich soil amendment that is then used to make compost.
Ahold Delhaize’s initiative has kept over 70,318 tons of food waste out of American landfills and generated over 13,977 megawatts of clean electricity for the 1.1 million sq. ft. Stop & Shop distribution center since the facility launched in early 2016.