Vallarta is serious about sustainability.
Over the last three years, Vallarta Supermarkets has implemented an Energy Efficiency program that has led to a 15% reduction of electricity across the majority of our stores. This program has lowered energy usage by 9 Million KWH, which is equivalent to reducing greenhouse gas CO2 by 6.4 metric tons!
Additionally, Vallarta has developed a Zero Waste Program to divert 33% of trash by compositing and recycling. This resulted in diverting 4,821 tons of waste that otherwise would have been landfilled.
As business leaders and neighbors in our communities, we’re committed to doing all we can to reduce our impact on the environment, while providing a shopping experience that our customers can feel great about. Some of our sustainability initiatives are right out in front for everyone to see, like LED lighting, more efficient windows and doors, as well as doors on our refrigerated cases. Not only do these kinds of improvements make the in-store shopping experience more pleasant, but the energy savings reduce operational costs that help us keep our prices low.
Behind the scenes, invisible to a casual shopper, we’ve upgraded many of the systems we rely on to operate our network of stores. We’re using smart technologies to control our in-store and outdoor lighting, our heating and cooling systems, and the exhaust fans in our kitchens. We upgraded much of our equipment to run with more efficient motors—this is like replacing an old gas guzzler with a new, fuel-efficient car. We’ve also implemented more efficient and just-in-time delivery schedules for several departments and a zero-waste program for every store to reduce landfill waste and redirect food scraps to compost farms.
In September 2019, Vallarta Supermarkets was awarded the 2019 Clean Energy Champion by Southern California Edison in recognition of our sustainability effort.
Energy Savings Effort
Some of our energy saving efforts are:
- Added doors or replaced existing open cases with close cases.
Retrofitted fluorescent, metal halides, incandescent, halogen, and neon technologies with energy efficient LED lamps.
- Installed walk-in cooler and freezer alarms to make sure doors are not left open accidentally.
- Connected lights to Energy Management Systems for dimming and daylight harvesting.
Installed photocells to exterior, parking and pylon sign lights to turn on when dark.
- Added anti-sweat heater controllers to freezer cases so that heat is available only when needed.
- Replaced motors with energy-efficient EC motors. This is like changing a 1970’s gas guzzler with a modern hybrid engine powered gas sipper.
- Installed Direct Control Ventilation so that cooking exhaust hoods only turns on whenever it is needed only.
- Used variable speed drive on large motors (e.g. AHU and exhaust blower motors).
- Replaced large stock pots with energy efficient and safer electric steamers.
- Upgraded doors air curtains to turn on when front door opens, turn off when door closes. This keeps the cool air in during the summer, and warm air during the winter.
- Adjusting store temperature up during non-business hours in the summer, and down during the winter.
- Keeping our store equipment well maintained so that they run at maximum efficiency.
- Deploying “just in time” produces delivery to reduce spoilage.
- Backhauling fresh produce from farms whenever possible.
Other Conservation Effort
- Lower water usage by using low flow sprays, low volume or waterless urinals and commodes, etc.
- Replacing our refrigerant and evaluating other technologies to lower global warming potentials.
- Instituted a “zero waste” program to lower the amount of trash landfilled and CO2 emitted by recycling useful materials as much as possible and diverting food wastes to composting farms and other uses.
We are continuously evaluating new technologies and ideas to strive to be the leader in supermarket sustainability.