By Brent Kawamura
This article was originally published in June 2019
Measuring our Progress
PCC created a set of sustainability goals last year, including reductions in energy, water and carbon emissions. To achieve these wide-ranging goals, we need full details on each store’s environmental performance, such as landfill diversion rates and energy use. That’s why we monitor more than 150 environmental metrics ranging from electricity, natural gas, water, food donation, refrigeration, fleet vehicle fuel, and five distinct waste streams. As you can imagine, this level of tracking is no easy task. It’s important that we do it right, so we recently adopted Scope 5 sustainability software.
Scope 5 software, headquartered here in Seattle, gives us the ability to closely monitor resource use across our 11 stores. It sends us a notice if there are unexpected anomalies, such as surges in water use, so we can investigate potential leaks. Using the data in Scope 5, we can identify each store’s opportunities for improvement. We also know exactly where and how to target our conservation efforts. For instance, if a store has a high landfill diversion rate but a high energy use, we know to focus this store’s initiatives on energy audits and efficiency upgrades. On the flip side, we can also learn from this store’s successful waste management strategies and apply them at other stores with lower landfill diversion rates.
In just our first year of pursuing our five-year sustainability goals, we donated more than 400,000 meals to those in need. We also reduced our carbon emissions associated with refrigerant leaks by 684 tons. That’s equivalent to the carbon emissions of more than 747,000 pounds of coal.
We invite you to read our full Purposes Report to learn even more about our social and environmental impact through 2018 and the incredible progress that this software is helping us quantify. Read the full report here: Co-op Purposes Report 2018.
Brent Kawamura is PCC’s senior sustainability specialist.