Sustainability - Wegmans and The Nature Conservancy Working Together to Protect Lands and Waters

Rochester, NY, March 31, 2015 -

Want to help nature? There’s a bag for that! Once again, The Nature Conservancy and Wegmans Food Markets are celebrating Earth Day all month long with an April 2015 initiative designed to encourage more sustainable behaviors and raise funds for protecting lands and waters.

Last year, Wegmans and The Nature Conservancy worked together on a recycling initiative in honor of Earth Day that succeeded in recycling 220,000 pounds of plastic bags and film—25 percent more than what was recycled at Wegmans stores in April the year prior.

This April, we’re taking it one step further, encouraging use of reusable bags as the best choice for the environment over plastic or paper. To show commitment to caring for nature on multiple levels, Wegmans will contribute 25¢ to The Nature Conservancy for every pound of paper and plastic bags saved, with a minimum contribution of $10,000.

Pounds saved will be calculated based on pounds of plastic and paper bags used in April 2015 compared with pounds of plastic and paper used in April 2014. Funds raised will support The Nature Conservancy’s conservation work in Central and Western New York, where Wegmans is headquartered.

”By each of us taking little steps every day, we can have tremendous positive impact on our environment,” said Jason Wadsworth, Wegmans manager of sustainability. “Breaking old habits and creating new ones is hard, which is why we are once again working with The Nature Conservancy this April to raise awareness about this issue and to reward our customers’ efforts to do the right thing.”

“The health of our lands, waters and communities depends upon responsible actions and good stewardship,” said Jim Howe, The Nature Conservancy’s chapter director in Central & Western New York. "Support from Wegmans is unique because it helps the environment twice—by encouraging an everyday action that helps preserve resources, while also providing essential funds for local conservation. We are thrilled to once again work with Wegmans, its employees and customers to protect and restore important places."

The goal is to inspire people by showing them that small personal choices―like using reusable bags―can make a big impact for local communities and the environment at large. Globally, plastic and paper bags have a significant ecological impact. Their production, transportation and disposal contribute to climate change, and bags can pollute rivers, beaches and parks if they are not recycled properly. Wegmans has a well-established year-round program for recycling bags, but would like to see more of its customers converting to reusables as the most sustainable option.

“We’re optimistic that together we can significantly reduce the amount of bags we use and generate an exciting contribution for conservation,” said Wadsworth. “This initiative is a great way for our people and customers to celebrate Earth Day, and help take action in their community to create a healthier and more sustainable world all year long.”

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org. Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. is an 85-store supermarket chain with stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, and Massachusetts. The family-owned company, founded in 1916, is recognized as an industry leader and innovator. Wegmans has been named one of the ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ by FORTUNE magazine for 18 consecutive years, ranking #7 in 2015. The company also ranked #1 for Corporate Reputation, among the 100 ‘most-visible companies’ nationwide in the 2014 Harris Poll Reputation Quotient ® study.

Press Contact:
The Nature Conservancy
Kate Frazer
Central & Western NY Communications Manager
339-222-2014
Wegmans
Jo Natale
Director of Media Relations
585-429-3627
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