At Wegmans, we are aware that environmental concerns will have profound effects on the lives of our children and grandchildren.

There are no simple solutions to these challenges. Still, we all have a responsibility to be aware and be accountable. We promise to take steps to protect our world for future generations—it's part of our commitment to make a difference in every community we serve.

Join us on this journey. As our company learns new ways to reduce, reuse and recycle our resources, we’ll share our discoveries with you. Taking steps—even little steps—together can make a difference. 

Here are just some of the ways that Wegmans is helping to make a difference:

Because there are so many different aspects of sustainability, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. It’s also easy to try to spread your efforts into too many areas, thereby diluting the results. That doesn’t mean we are ignoring the other areas; it simply means we are placing our priorities on the areas where we feel we can make the most significant change right now. As time goes on, we will evaluate and make priority changes as necessary.

Sustainable Packaging

Since 2016, Wegmans has avoided the use of more than 6 million pounds of virgin fossil-based plastic. This equates to approximately 150 truckloads worth of packaging we didn’t use. We accomplished this by increasing the use of renewable plant-based material, mineral fillers, and post-consumer recycled plastic in our packaging.

Our goal is to make sure packaging is functional, performs as expected, and uses materials efficiently and responsibly. To improve the sustainability of our packaging, we are focused on using less plastic, reducing food waste, using renewable and recycled content, and increasing recyclability.

Wegmans has a unique partnership with the Rochester Institute of Technology’s (RIT) Center for Sustainable Packaging and American Packaging Corporation. This gives us access to applied research for developing sustainable packaging solutions that reduce our impact on our communities. View frequently asked questions about checkout bags.

Reducing emissions

We are committed to reducing emissions from non-renewable energy sources and refrigeration systems.  We are constantly looking for ways to improve our impact on the environment; here are a few key initiatives:

  • We are on our second round of lighting changes, now utilizing highly efficient LED technology.
  • Natural refrigerant technology allows us to reduce the amount of traditional refrigerant used in our stores and facilities.
  • The use of compressed natural gas fuel in trucks at our Pennsylvania distribution center, helps to reduce consumption of diesel fuel.
  • Solar panels installed at several of our corporate office buildings, a distribution center, and various store locations and at our Organic Farm in Canandaigua, NY. 

Reducing waste in landfills

We pledge to continually improve our packaging, with a focus on reducing food waste, increasing renewable/recycled content, and recyclability. Wegmans currently diverts more than half of the waste generated by our stores and facilities from local landfills and we are committed to strategies that get us closer to zero waste.  We do this through innovative partnerships in our communities with farmers, composters, haulers and recyclers.

  

Frequently Asked Questions about checkout bags

What is the best bag option for the environment?

Reusable bags are the most environmentally friendly option because they are designed for repeated use. Switching to reusable bags is the best way to reduce the number of paper and plastic bags being used. 

Aren’t paper bags better for the environment than plastic bags?

No. Paper bags are the least preferred bagging option. They take more resources and energy to make; are heavier, requiring more resources to transport; are manufactured using chemicals that are harmful to our waterways; and do not biodegrade in modern landfills.  

Are paper bags made with recycled content a better solution?

No. Adding recycled content to paper bags weakens the bag to where they can break easily. As a result, the bags can hold fewer items, increasing the number of paper bags needed per order. 

What’s the environmental impact of reusable bags?

Reusable bags require more resources to make and are not recyclable. However, when they are used as intended – repeatedly and in place of plastic and paper bags – the environmental benefits add up. 

If plastic bags are better for the environment, why have they been banned?

The growing number of plastic bags littering our sidewalks, landfills, and waterways, has led to many municipalities and states banning plastic bags. It’s an important issue to address, but not at a greater cost to the environment. Experience and research show that the best long-term solution to the problem is to replace single-use checkout bags (both paper and plastic) with reusable bags. 

Sustainable Seafood

We believe sustainability is a never-ending journey. Part of that journey leads us to focus our efforts on a sustainably-sourced seafood supply. We are proud of our seafood, and we want our people and our customers to know about it.

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