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Safeway's California and U.S. Truck Fleet Goes Green PDF Print E-mail

Jan. 18, 2008, PLEASANTON, Calif. - Safeway Inc. (NYSE:SWY), one of the nation's leading retailers embracing environmentally friendly initiatives throughout its business operations, announced today that it has converted its entire California and U.S. truck fleet to cleaner-burning biodiesel fuel.

The biodiesel initiative makes Safeway one of the first major retailers in the United States to convert its entire fleet of more than 1,000 trucks to cleaner-burning biodiesel fuel. The decision by Safeway will help reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 75 million pounds annually, the equivalent of taking nearly 7,500 passenger vehicles off the road each year.

"Safeway is proud to lead by example to help protect the environment," said Chairman, President and CEO Steve Burd. "Using biodiesel to power our transportation fleet will prevent millions of pounds of carbon emissions from being released into the environment. Our biodiesel program is just one of many initiatives underway that will make a positive impact on the environment."

In Northern California, Lt. Governor John Garamendi will join Mr. Burd for an unveiling of the company's newest biodiesel fueled big rig at a 3 p.m. ceremony on Friday at the company's Dublin, California store. The store is one of the company's green store, and is powered by solar energy. The on-site Safeway fuel center is powered by wind energy.

"Safeway's environmental leadership is a shining example of how businesses can adapt and become a major player in the fight against global warming," said Lt. Governor Garamendi. Thinking green can no longer be a choice in the business world when looking toward the future. Smart businesses are looking over the horizon, and understand that the risks and opportunity associated with this critical issue must be part of their overall plan to grow and to be successful in the future."

Safeway this week is making the announcement with environmental and community leaders in major cities throughout the country. In Colorado Governor Bill Ritter and U.S. Senator Ken Salazar helped fuel the first biodiesel truck at a Safeway distribution center. In Washington, D.C. members of Congress, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency representatives joined Safeway officials for a similar announcement at a local Safeway store. Mayor Richard Daley joined executives from Safeway's Dominick's division for an event in Chicago. In Pasadena, Mayor Bill Bogaard and Vons officials unveiled a biodiesel powered truck in front of city hall. In Portland, Oregon a range State Legislators joined Safeway for its local launch. To help educate the public about environmental awareness, every Safeway truck will have special decals indicating the vehicle is operated with cleaner-burning biodiesel.

Safeway's biodiesel program is just part of Safeway's extensive Greenhouse Gas Reduction Initiative and the company's overall effort to manage its carbon footprint, address climate change and reduce air pollution. The company has been recognized throughout the country for its dedication to using solar power, wind power, alternative fuels and construction strategies in conjunction with employee education and consumer outreach to reduce carbon emissions in the communities Safeway serves. In September 2007 the company was awarded the California Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Award in the area of climate change.

In 2006 Safeway joined the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX(R)), the world's first and North America's only voluntary, legally binding greenhouse gas emissions reduction, registry and trading program. The CCX membership commits Safeway to reduce its carbon footprint from the base year 2000 by 390,000 tons of carbon dioxide. The company also joined the California Climate Action Registry, California's only official registry for greenhouse gas emissions reduction projects.

In addition, the company is participating in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's SmartWay Transportation Partnership, which commits Safeway to establishing a baseline fuel efficiency of its fleet and implementing a plan to decrease carbon emissions. Those efficiencies, which include purchasing trailers with large capacity, have saved more than 6.5 million gallons of diesel fuel and decreased carbon emissions by 73,000 tons annually. Safeway also is part of the EPA's Grow & Go Partners, which promotes the benefits of renewable fuels.

Other Safeway sustainability initiatives include:

-- Being one of the largest retail purchasers of renewable wind energy in the U.S, purchasing 87,000 megawatts annually, enough to power its 300 fuel stations and over 50 stores.

-- Launching a solar power program to convert two dozen California stores to solar energy, which will help remove 10.4 million pounds of carbon dioxide from the air, the equivalent of taking 1,000 cars off the road annually.

-- Implementing unique energy-saving strategies in stores by installing new energy-efficient refrigeration technology and freezer systems and utilizing LED lighting to significantly reduce electricity usage.

-- Operating an extensive recycling program in which nearly 500,000 tons of materials are recycled each year, including cardboard, plastics and compostable materials. This is the equivalent of filling six football fields stacked 35 feet high. The company also offers reusable canvas bags to customers and has plastic bag recycling programs at many stores.

"Safeway cares about the environment and this investment in utilizing cleaner-burning technologies to operate our trucking fleet reflects our strong commitment to protecting the environment," said Senior Vice President for Energy Operations Joe Pettus. "Our customers care about these types of sustainability issues, and we are proud to be a leader in environmental best practices."

Safeway Inc. is a Fortune 100 company and one of the largest food and drug retailers in North America, based on sales. The company operates 1,738 stores in the United States and western Canada and had annual sales of $40.2 billion in 2006. Safeway supports a broad range of charitable and community programs and in 2007 donated more than $172 million to important causes, such as cancer research, education, food banks and programs focused on assisting people with disabilities. The company's common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SWY. To learn more about Safeway's sustainability initiatives, go to www.Safeway.com, click on "About Us" and "Going Green."

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Last Updated on Thursday, 18 September 2008 18:46
 


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