The Merc Co+op Earns Sustainability Star Award for Third Time
The Merc Co-op has been selected as a 2018 Co+efficient Sustainability Star! This award recognizes the co-op’s positive impacts on the community and the environment. Co-ops are eligible in only two out of three years – and despite also receiving the award last year, our co-op truly stood out above the rest again in 2018.
Here is more from National Cooperative Grocers (NCG) who presented us this award:
The Merc Co+op’s relentless approach to energy efficiency has helped them achieve an impressive 51% reduction in electricity use since 2012. In 2018 alone, their newly refreshed Green Team led staff in a hunt for energy efficiency resulting in more improvements to their already efficient space, and phase two of their solar project was completed resulting in nearly one-third of their energy coming from the sun. The Merc provided 193 outreach events in their community, and donated over 10,000 pounds of healthy, nutritious food that was saved from the compost bin.
The Merc Co+op was previously chosen as a Sustainability Star for both 2015 and 2017.
2017’s Star was awarded when the co-op completed phase one of their solar project with an installation of 330 photovoltaic panels that will save the co-op over $1 million in energy costs over 25 years. Seventy-three percent of co-op staff participated in community outreach volunteering programs, and the co-op’s need-based program provided $15,000 in assistance for healthy food access.
2015’s Star was awarded when the co-op reduced electricity and natural gas use year-over-year for nearly 48 straight months, and increased their EnergyStar rating from 53 to 83. Where most co-ops’ electricity use tends to increase at about 4% per year, The Merc Co+op was able to reduce consumption by an average of 7% per year over four years (30% total).
NCG’s Co+efficient is a comprehensive sustainability program designed around the goal to create measurable improvement in co-ops’ sustainability performance. It does this through addressing impacts to the environment, society and the local economy, and striving for a positive, regenerative impact.
National Co+op Grocers (NCG) is a business services cooperative for retail food co-ops located throughout the United States. They represent 145 food co-ops operating over 200 stores in 37 states with combined annual sales over $2.1 billion and over 1.3 million consumer-owners. NCG helps unify natural food co-ops in order to optimize operational and marketing resources, strengthen purchasing power, and ultimately offer more value to natural food co-op owners and shoppers everywhere.