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Publix Super Markets, Inc.

Corporate Sustainability Report 2009

This sustainability report is a first for Publix. But while the report may be new, our efforts are not. George Jenkins, affectionately known as Mr. George, founded Publix in the midst of the Great Depression. The idea of conserving resources and reducing waste was not new to him. He believed by making associates owners of the company, they would have more incentive to do their jobs in a more responsible and efficient manner. And he was right. In 2001 we started our formal Get Into a Green Routine® program. This program recognized the importance of sustainability and enlisted the help of our associates to look toward the future and make it a part of their jobs every day. Today, our associates have a desire to take part in sustainable practices. They want to be good stewards of the company they own. Operating in a sustainable manner is part of our culture. It’s part of our foundation. As you read this report, you’ll see how sustainability is more than focusing on the environment, saving electricity and increasing recycling efforts. It’s a mindset. Sustainability is important to our associates. It’s important to our customers. It’s important to job seekers. And it’s right for the future of our company. When you have a strong foundation and associates who are passionate about a mission, finding ways to preserve our planet and ensure the viability of Publix going forward has a natural fit.

Sincerely, Ed Crenshaw CEO

Publix Sustainability Culture


Recycling and waste management The concept of being intolerant of waste is written right into the Publix mission statement.


Resource conservation To be good stewards and responsible citizens is also a part of our mission statement. We’ve put into place measures to conserve energy, water and fuel to help fulfill that responsibility.


Greenhouse gas emissions management Publix is the only grocer participating in the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Leaders program.


Sustainable products One of the most natural ways for a supermarket to get involved with sustainability is to focus on products from the ground up.



Doing our part to make our communities even stronger—lending a hand where there is a need—is an important component of our sustainability pledge.


Moving forward


Publix Sustainability Culture Corporate sustainability has always been second nature at Publix. It’s been called many things through the years, but its principles have long been a part of Publix’s culture. Sustainability is framed within our mission statement and is deeply ingrained in the way Publix has always approached business. Sustainability requires people and organizations to conduct their activities with integrity and responsibility in order to fulfill their needs today, without jeopardizing the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Sustainability encompasses the ideal of finding balance between financial, human and environmental needs. As is true of every balancing act, the key word is act. The actions we’ve taken are part of what defines us as a company, and are what we are proud to share with you in this report. Act One: Get Into a Green Routine® Publix’s natural tendencies toward sustainability were formalized in 2001 with the rollout of Get Into a Green Routine, a program created to instill conservation habits in the company’s associates at work and at home—and to pass the idea along to our suppliers and customers. The program began with education and an emphasis on energy conservation, and has extended to waste reduction, recycling and resource conservation. Every store has a Green Routine coordinator, and associates receive training and tips from a variety of sources. Each store also receives a monthly report detailing energy consumption compared to the previous year. Our Get Into a Green Routine program is working on many fronts. We’ve achieved a recycling rate of 45 percent companywide. We’ve also reduced companywide electricity usage by more than 8 percent in existing stores and by 23 percent in new store designs. As part of our category review process and supplier business reviews, we make an effort to understand what our suppliers’ sustainable initiatives are and where we could incorporate them into our own initiatives—environmentally friendly packaging being one example.


Publix Sustainability Report 2009

We’ve also reached out to customers. For instance, Publix shoppers have

By offering

embraced our reusable bag initiative, resulting in an annual reduction of more than 400 million paper and plastic grocery bags. Act Two: The Sustainability Initiative

reusable bags to our customers, we’re saving more than 1 million disposable paper

In 2007 sustainability became a top corporate priority—a definitive

and plastic grocery

signal that a concept which had always been part of our tradition was

bags every day!

to be taken into consideration across every aspect of our operations. CEO Ed Crenshaw made sustainability a high-priority companywide initiative. To get started, a seven-person core committee was created to plan and execute the sustainability strategy, and Ed chaired the committee for the first 18 months. At the same time, a 40-person cross-functional sustainability committee, drawing from every department in the company, worked to establish a performance baseline and discuss opportunities. In 2009 Publix added the support of environmentally sustainable practices as a key objective in our corporate strategy. The objective statement reads: We are committed to the responsible use of environmental resources. We reduce, whenever practical, our consumption of energy, fuel, water and materials. We employ and explore options for the reduction, reuse and recycling of materials. We promote sustainability with customers, associates and suppliers, and within the retail industry. The core committee that was created in July 2007 continues to recommend and implement appropriate sustainability principles into business processes and drive corporate strategy for conservation. Today the original committee has evolved into a team of 30 sustainability advocates, who track and report the performance of every business unit against defined goals. Publix has been commended for our efforts with a range of prestigious awards, including the 2009 Supermarket News Sustainability Excellence Award, 2009 Produce Business Retail Sustainability Award, 2008 Progressive Grocer Green Grocer Award, and 2007 Council for Sustainable Florida Large Business Best Practice Award.

Publix Sustainability Report 2009


Act Three: Getting Others Into the Act We’ve always encouraged our customers and our suppliers to join us in our sustainability efforts, whether it’s offering conservation tips on our web site or working with our truck manufacturers to improve gas mileage for all of our delivery trucks. We’re thinking even bigger, with ideas and actions that impact our environment beyond our own market areas. Publix is partnering with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Leaders program to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. We are the only grocer participating in the program. We support environmental restoration projects around the world, from Massachusetts wetlands to Thailand mangroves. Publix has assumed important leadership positions on sustainability issues in a number of national trade associations. We share our approach on sustainability programs with other grocers and retailers, enlarging the sphere of our influence.

Change really does come from within. Some of the best ideas come from the real “experts” — our store associates, who are constantly looking for ways to improve their work processes and company.

Our efforts, both large and small, are making a real difference. Our success is a tremendous story of associates providing the energy and intellect to conceive and drive these activities both in our stores and in our communities. The following pages reflect how Publix associates have endeavored to find that sustainable balance between our needs today and those of future generations.


Publix Sustainability Report 2009

The “Change it!” program was developed to capture store associate ideas, and reward individuals whose ideas are put to use. We’ve adopted more than 40 associate-suggested improvements companywide, with many other ideas under consideration.


and waste management

Our associates have long taken to heart the commitment in our mission statement to be intolerant of waste. The ultimate goal is to prevent a material from ever becoming waste. To that end, Publix consistently strives to produce less waste in the first place and to reuse or recycle any waste that is generated.

Publix Sustainability Report 2009


Our formal recycling program began in 1974 when we started recycling cardboard. Today Publix recycles materials used throughout our daily operations, including pallets, plastics, paper, crates, scrap metal, batteries, electronics, cooking oil and grease, fat and bone, and meat scraps. Publix’s companywide recycling rate is 45 percent, and we are actively working to raise it even higher. In 2009, we recycled 210,000 tons of cardboard, 7,000 tons of plastic, 2,200 tons of mixed paper and 1,600 tons of wax cardboard. This recycling helped save approximately 5.2 million trees, 16.8 million gallons of water and 1.8 million cubic yards of landfill space. It also resulted in energy savings equivalent to more than 600,000 barrels of oil. You’ll find examples companywide that illustrate our efforts to reduce and reuse. For instance, Publix Delis recycle cooking oil and grease for use as biofuel and animal feed. We recycle ceiling tiles from some store remodels instead of sending them to landfills. In 2009 Publix converted to printing the Publix magazines and select Information Center brochures on Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper. Products bearing the FSC logo are guaranteed to be made from wood from a certified well-managed forest. Our customers are in the act too. One of the most visible efforts addresses the millions of bags used to carry groceries home every day. We encourage the use of reusable bags via store goals, communication campaigns and the distribution of free reusable bags through various partnerships. Between mid-2007 through the end of 2009 we sold more than 10 million reusable bags and saved more than 700 million disposable paper/plastic bags. To lessen the environmental impact of customers who choose paper and plastic bags, Publix offers in-store recycling of these items at our retail locations. Of the 7,000 tons of plastic we recycled in 2009, the bulk of it was soft plastic, including the plastic bags returned by our customers.


Publix Sustainability Report 2009

At Publix, we recycle—a lot! In 2009, we recycled 210,000 tons of cardboard, which helped save:

5.2 million trees

16.8 million gallons of water

We kicked the bucket. We recycle the buckets used to display cut flowers—reducing costs and saving tons of trash from the landfill each year.

1.8 million cubic yards of landfill space

In addition, we recycled about 7,000 tons of plastic 2,200 tons of mixed paper 1,600 tons of wax cardboard All this recycling combined resulted in energy savings equivalent to more than:

600,000 barrels of oil

Another example of customer involvement is our partnership with RecycleBank, a national program that brings communities and retailers together to motivate people to recycle. Households are given a special cart in which they place recyclables for curbside pickup. The recycle truck is equipped to weigh the cart at each pick-up and each cart has a special identification tag that links to that address. Homeowners have an online RecycleBank account to track and earn points for every pound of recyclables. Points are redeemed for coupons from partnering retailers like Publix. The program also benefits the community by reducing the amount of trash going into landfills. In February 2009, Publix partnered with RecycleBank to encourage residents in the city of North Miami, Florida to participate in curbside recycling. Publix expanded the partnership with RecycleBank in October 2009 when we launched a pilot program in selected areas of Atlanta, Georgia. Shipping and packaging is another key area where we reduce and reuse. Each year we return more than 160,000 plastic produce bins to the supplier for reuse, greatly reducing our use of cardboard and pallets. Plastic totes are used as an alternative to hardto-recycle wax shipping boxes for produce that must remain wet during shipping. These plastic totes are returned to the supplier or the distribution center for reuse. The majority of our seafood products are now shipped in returnable totes that are cleaned, sanitized and reused. For overnight shipping, we use a recyclable air bag system, rather than Styrofoam, to keep the product cold. Another idea Publix pioneered was a replacement for the Styrofoam containers grape growers used to harvest and store grapes, and the Styrofoam used to display grapes and cherries. Publix worked with suppliers to develop alternative packaging materials, and a resealable bag was developed to display the fruit. As a result of the work done at Publix, this new bag has become the industry standard today. We also make every effort to reduce packaging in the manufacturing process. For example, Publix found a supplier who could reduce plastic resin in the bottles used for our private label bottled water by more than seven grams per bottle. This one change has helped Publix save more than 3.6 million pounds of plastic per year, reducing annual greenhouse gas emissions by more than 1,000 tons.


Publix Sustainability Report 2009

At Publix, getting our customers and suppliers in the act makes our sustainability efforts go even further.

Kudos to our customers who have embraced the concept of reusable bags—saving more than 1 million plastic or paper bags every day.

When customers do choose plastic bags, we still help them choose wisely. We recycle any plastic bag our customers bring us—even those from other stores.

We found a supplier to help make a better bottle for our private label bottled water, to save:

7 grams of plastic per bottle 3.6 million pounds of plastic per year 1,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year

Each year we return more than 160,000 plastic produce bins to the supplier for reuse, greatly reducing our use of cardboard and pallets. Sustainability is about making smarter choices to enrich the quality of life for our associates, our customers and our planet. For instance, rather than print this report we chose to deliver it in paperless form.

Resource conservation Our mission statement directs us to be good stewards and responsible citizens. Doing our part to conserve our earth’s precious resources is one of the most important ways we can live up to this challenge.


Publix Sustainability Report 2009

Energy conservation is especially important because energy use is not only one of our largest expenses, it is also an area where we can make a big impact on the environment. That’s why we’re building every new store to be more energy-efficient and making changes to reduce energy consumption in existing stores. Between 2002 and 2009 Publix reduced electricity consumption in our stores by 8 percent, saving enough electricity to power 65,000 homes for one year. We accomplished this reduction by tackling energy use from many angles. Keeping people and products cool requires a lot of energy, especially in the areas where we operate. We employ energy-efficient refrigeration and air conditioning designs in our stores and facilities. Several new stores now feature more efficient and environmentally friendly technology in their low-temperature cases. Lighting is another major focus. Our new stores utilize the latest fluorescent technologies, saving up to 50 percent in energy over older store designs. We are currently retrofitting many existing stores with state-of-the-art components to improve lighting quality and generate up to 50 percent

How many light bulbs does

lighting energy reduction. We’ve redesigned our track

it take to change a company? By switching to more efficient fixtures, we’ve significantly cut our lighting energy use, resulting in millions fewer

lighting with high-efficiency lamps to gain up to 70 percent energy savings, and we’ve replaced warehouse lighting with energy-saving sensor-controlled lamps.

kilowatt hours consumed and tons less

Publix investigated several technologies to replace exist-

greenhouse gas emissions released.

ing incandescent light sources in our stores, manufacturing

That’s a mighty change for

plants and corporate cafeterias, and to find a more energy-

the good.

efficient light source for walk-in coolers and freezers. Light emitting diode (LED) lighting was chosen as the best solution, and we have completed the retrofitting of walk-in fixtures (approximately

41,000) in all Publix stores. We are also in the process of improving the sales floor reach-in refrigerated cases with new LED lighting technology. These new LED systems are expected to provide many benefits, including an estimated savings of more than 63 million kWh each year, reduced carbon emissions, improved lighting quality and longer system life, which will reduce maintenance costs.

Publix Sustainability Report 2009


And, in a high-tech twist on the old “turn off the lights when you leave the room” mantra, our Energy Management System controls the store lighting and turns off non-essential lighting during unoccupied hours. We have also explored the use of alternative energy sources and new technology to assist us in reducing the amount of energy we use from existing power plant utilities. Publix worked with Florida Power & Light and the Florida Solar Energy Center to pilot the use of different solar photovoltaic technologies at four Publix facilities. These systems have reduced the energy demand by saving 33,750 kWh a year per facility. We have captured information and will use the lessons learned from the four installations to position ourselves for future projects as solar technology continues to mature and become more cost effective. We use a ton of technology at Publix, and technology uses a ton of energy. Publix’s information systems department has found dozens of opportunities to reduce our technology energy consumption. Virtual machine technology consolidates processing power to eliminate unused server capacity, which in turn uses less energy. In addition, Publix has replaced approximately 5,600 cathode ray tubes with flat monitors. This change has not only reduced electrical consumption at the desktop, but also decreases heat emitted by the devices, which reduces the ventilation and air conditioning requirements. We have also reduced the number of printers and have implemented a Publix

Our headquarters in sunny Lakeland, Florida benefits from a 24 kW solar power system. You can see how we’re doing with real-time solar monitoring at

green power saver setting for all corporate desktops and laptops (5,500 machines) to automatically turn off the monitors and hard drives after 5 minutes of idle time. In the Atlanta Data Center, Publix implemented variable-drive air conditioner units that run at different speeds depending upon current temperature conditions in the computer room.


Publix Sustainability Report 2009

We’ve seen the light at Publix. Energy-efficient lighting. Water-conserving fixtures. Paperless office systems. Solar-powered facilities. Day by day, we’re living up to our commitment to be a sustainable company.

This is the green store that Publix built. In April 2009, Publix opened a new store on Bee Ridge Road in Sarasota, Florida that exemplified our commitment to sustainable building practices. Some of the features of this store include: • Construction waste recycling • LED light fixtures • Skylights • Special parking for hybrid vehicles • Low-flow plumbing fixtures • Low VOC (volatile organic compounds) building products • Reclaimed water system • Reflective roof systems

Recycling plastic grocery bags conserves energy, since natural gas is used in the manufacturing process. It also helps to protect the environment in which we live.

Water conservation is becoming increasingly important around the world. Water is a key natural resource, and we strive to conserve as much as possible when considering design, building and operations. We are also aware of the interest of our customers and our communities in water conservation. The prudent use of water is especially crucial since some of our market areas have experienced drought conditions in recent years and have mandated water restrictions. To reduce our water consumption, we researched and evaluated the use of various watersaving technologies. As a result of the changes we made in our corporate office in Lakeland, Florida, total water demand was reduced by 100,000 gallons per month. That’s enough to fill an Olympic swimming pool every year—almost twice! The success of this project led to design changes in new stores and remodels for a savings of approximately 217,000 gallons per store each year. In addition, store management associates perform annual water conservation audits, checking all sinks for leaks, examining faucet aerators, the water filter and water pressure, and checking hoses, nozzles and hand sprayers.

Fuel conservation is another focus at Publix. When you consider that Publix vehicles log more than 80 million miles a year, the benefits of impacting fuel conservation becomes obvious. We’ve rolled out several projects involving our distribution centers and truck fleets to target huge reductions in fuel use. Publix continues to work with our truck manufacturers to get the highest miles per gallon possible for all of our delivery trucks. To achieve the same with the 1,200 light duty cars, trucks, and vans in our fleet, we’re also adding more gas-electric hybrids to our fleet. In addition, we’ve changed the way we load our trailers to put more items on each truck and increase efficient use of truck space. We’ve also examined our truck routes to reduce empty miles on the road, wear and tear on our vehicles, and increase fuel savings. Small changes have added up to big savings. Publix installed automatic tire inflation systems on trailers to maintain optimum tire pressure in tires for maximum fuel efficiency. Electric fans were installed on our delivery truck fleet to reduce the load of mechanical fans while increasing the available horsepower. And we’re using a combination of diesel and natural gas— called dual fuel—for diesel generators to reduce diesel consumption and increase efficiency.


Publix Sustainability Report 2009

How do we save fuel at Publix? One mile at a time. And when you consider we log more than 200,000 miles a day… 1.5 million miles a week… 6.7 million miles a month… and more than 80 million miles every year, that’s a huge opportunity to become a driving force in fuel conservation.

We make every load count. That means loading every truck efficiently to maximize the load, and then routing every truck efficiently to minimize the mileage.

We’re adding more gas-electric hybrid cars to our fleet.

And we’re working with our truck manufacturers to improve gas mileage for all our delivery vehicles.

Little efforts—like automatic tire inflation systems—add up to big savings by optimizing tire pressure for better fuel efficiency. Little changes—like electric fans installed on our delivery trucks—reduce the load of mechanical fans and increase the available horsepower. Mile by mile, gallon by gallon, we’re on the right track to fuel conservation.

Greenhouse gas emissions management Internationally there is concern that the growing level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could lead to changes in the world’s climate. In an attempt to stop and reverse this trend, governments, industry and the public are all taking action. Publix is intent on leading by example in this area.


Publix Sustainability Report 2009

Of the 180 industry partners in the U.S Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Leaders program, Publix is the only grocer. The Climate Leaders program forges partnerships between industry and government to help companies reduce their impact on the environment by tracking greenhouse gas emissions, setting aggressive reduction goals, and reporting progress. In 2007 we conducted our first greenhouse gas inventory—a measurement of all activities that generate greenhouse gases. We are now conducting these inventories each year. The inventory measures emissions across our operations, including everything from the electricity we use to run our company to the fuel we use to run our fleet. Because we continue to grow as a company, we measure our carbon footprint as the amount of CO² we emit per square

foot of building space companywide. Since 2007, we have succeeded in lowering our carbon emissions per square foot by almost 2%. We attribute this reduction to the energy conservation efforts that have been a major focus for us since the early 2000s, including Get Into a Green Routine, changes in store lighting, improvements to refrigeration, new store designs, and more. By the end of 2009, conservation measures in our stores alone had saved more than one billion kilowatt hours. After power consumption, the next largest source of greenhouse gas emissions for Publix is our transportation fleet, so we are working hard to make improvements there. We have worked with engine manufacturers and designers to determine the best engine and drive-train combinations for performance and mileage as well as aerodynamic design packages to reduce drag and further improve fuel economy. We are also continually adding to the more than 500 vehicles in our hybrid and flex fuel fleet. We’ve worked on the redesign of the distribution center delivery network to reduce and eliminate unnecessary and empty miles traveled. In less than two years, we have decreased miles traveled by our trucks by more than 28,000 miles per week, resulting in a reduction of about 2,200 tons of greenhouse gas per year. Emissions from refrigerant operations contribute a small but important source of greenhouse gas emissions. We have joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s GreenChill partnership to evaluate new refrigeration technologies. As part of the program, we’ll be working with manufacturers, regulatory agencies and trade organizations to set and achieve more stringent emissions reduction goals than currently required. Our goal is to further reduce emissions of ozone-depleting refrigerants and increase energy efficiency.

Publix Sustainability Report 2009


Green ideas are what drive us. We’ve reworked our delivery routes to decrease the distance traveled by our trucks by more than 28,000 miles weekly—more than enough to circumnavigate the globe every seven days!

Being street-smart is a great way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Our vehicle fleet includes more than 500 alternative fuel vehicles, and we keep adding.

170+ hybrids

330+ flex fuel

Thanks to our associates, our efforts are making an impact. From 2002 to 2009, associate-focused energy conservation efforts alone saved more than 600,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

We’re working hard to keep reducing emissions even as we expand as a company. Since 2007, we have succeeded in lowering our carbon emissions per square foot by almost 2%.

Sustainable products One of the most natural ways for a supermarket to get involved with sustainability is to focus on products. Publix is in the business of selling safe, quality products to our customers, which provides us many opportunities to try and make our products more sustainable. Several initiatives are already underway at Publix, ranging from local to much further afield.

Publix Sustainability Report 2009


Sustainable seafood is a big area of focus for us. Publix held a Seafood Sustainability Supplier Summit in May 2009 emphasizing our commitment to sustainability. The purpose was simple: to work together to provide sustainable seafood products in a way that benefits everyone from the fisherman to the consumer. In our stores, Publix offers a variety of sustainable options that are certified by the Marine Stewardship Council. In addition, all of Publix’s major farmed items are currently certified by the Aquaculture Certification Council Inc., or are in the process of becoming certified. Publix has a quick reference guide which is a great tool for our associates in the Seafood Department to provide product and sustainability information to our customers. To make sustainability happen on a larger scale, we partner with leaders in the seafood industry. Those suppliers—leaders in quality and service—are also the forward-thinking suppliers who recognize their long-term success depends on sustainability. Many of our suppliers are founding members of the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA). This group of industry leaders developed the first set of aquaculture standards. These practices have been established with environmental and social accountability in mind. All of Publix’s farmed seafood suppliers are members of the GAA and follow their standards. We are especially proud of our partnerships with Ocean Conservancy, Sustainable Fisheries Partnerships, and Ocean Trust. Working closely with organizations such as these has helped Publix to guide changes in the fishing industry that are mutually beneficial for all. We are one of only three retailers supporting Ocean Trust, the award-winning ocean conservation foundation building science, conservation and industry partnerships for the sustainability of the oceans, and providing a link to sustainable fisheries. Our support has led to the completion of several efforts focused on education, research and restoration.


Publix Sustainability Report 2009

Natural and organic products are another way we support sustainability. Many shoppers today are looking for naturally delicious and environmentally friendly products. Publix answers this need with our own Publix GreenWise Market products as well as supplier products that meet our standards to be organic, all-natural or earth-friendly. Our organic items are raised without added growth hormones or synthetic antibiotics, steroids, pesticides or fertilizers and are all-natural with no GMOs (genetically modified organisms). Our all-natural items are minimally processed and have no artificial colors, flavors, preservatives or sweeteners. Our earth-friendly products are produced in such a way to minimize any negative impact on the environment. Good examples of earth-friendly products are those that are biodegradable, chemical-free or made of recycled post-consumer waste. To make it easier for the shopper, we identify these products with special brown shelf tags so customers can readily spot the items they want. In addition to offering Publix GreenWise Market and other sustainable products in all our stores, we have also created a one-stop shopping destination for organic, all-natural and earth-friendly products. Our Publix GreenWise Market stores, available in select areas, feature our own products plus other trusted brands. On, we provide a Natural Foods Glossary that explains the terms found on product labels. We also offer information on food safety, weight management and health alerts. And, our Publix GreenWise Market magazine provides the reader with articles on organic, all-natural and earth-friendly living—plus delicious recipes and more. Customers can subscribe online to receive this quarterly magazine for free.

Publix Sustainability Report 2009


Buying local is a sustainable idea we embrace. While Publix offers a variety of exotic food choices from around the world, we are proud of the products we source from just down the street. From produce to seafood to floral, Publix supports area suppliers and offers fresh, local products whenever possible. The sustainability benefits of buying local are numerous—from savings in transportation, less packaging, and often less waste, since the food is as fresh as can be. Our produce buyers first consider quality and value for our customers and then attempt to purchase produce as close to our marketing areas as possible. For example, most packaged salads come from the U.S. west coast, but Publix has worked with an east coast supplier who has introduced a line of salads just for Publix. We are also proud to offer a large variety of products grown in the states where we do business. Our support of the Redland Raised program in South Florida is one example of how we can better inform our customers about the benefits of buying products—like green beans, yellow squash, zucchini, okra, and avocados—grown close to our operating area. While we purchase our seafood from around the globe, we also continue to be one of the leaders in sourcing local and domestic seafood. Our focus is to utilize local and domestic product where and when available to meet the needs of our customers. For instance, we are one of the largest buyers of Florida shrimp in the United States. We also purchase white shrimp from docks in South Carolina. Publix is the only retailer that is committed to utilizing fresh Florida grouper—and we have been for more than 15 years! We are committed to fresh Florida stone crab, which comes from as far south as the Florida Keys to as far north as Crystal River. We purchase all our littleneck clams from Florida. The Keys provide all our yellowtail snapper, when in season. Many other seafood products are also from Florida, including spotted sea trout, mangrove snapper, and sheephead.


Publix Sustainability Report 2009

Whether it’s buying squash from a Florida farmer, or working with a supplier who supports mangrove restoration in Thailand, this we know for sure: we are all interconnected on this planet, and every effort makes a difference.

Why is buying local a good idea? Let us count the ways. Less transportation. Less packaging. Less waste, since foods arrive faster and fresher.

The local land provides an abundance of food; we are proud to offer a large variety of products. The local waters provide many of our seafood offerings, including fresh Florida grouper, yellowtail snapper and littleneck clams.

Finding your favorite natural or organic products at Publix is a cinch because we’ve color-coded the shelf tags for easy spotting.

Community At the corporate level, in our stores, and most certainly all the way down to the individual, the Publix culture and spirit foster deep and lasting ties between our associates and our communities. Doing our part to make our communities even stronger and lending a hand where there is a need are important components of our sustainability pledge.


Publix Sustainability Report 2009

Publix associates have a long and proud history of volunteering in the communities in which they live and work. Some of the nationally recognized organizations include United Way, Special Olympics and Habitat for Humanity. In addition, the list of local organizations supported by our associates—from literacy campaigns to Little League teams—would fill a book. Publix recognizes and rewards associates each year with the Mr. George Community Service Award. One of the most coveted awards in the company, this honor goes to five associates who personify the charitable community involvement of our founder, George Jenkins. We put sustainability into practice even in our community efforts. For example, Publix has been preparing ready-made food donation bags for more than 10 years. In 2009, to improve the efficiencies of this charitable program, associates in Metro Atlanta and in the smaller market of Gainesville, Florida tried a new way of helping customers donate food during the holidays. The new concept, called Food for Sharing, eliminated the pre-made bags. Instead, customers purchased food donation tickets with different levels of giving available, and received a complimentary reusable bag for their kindness. Publix tracked the food donation data and shipped full cases of product from our warehouse directly to the food bank. The benefits of this program delivered upon several sustainability objectives. We reduced transportation costs of sending food to the stores only to later transport it back to the distribution center for donation. We reduced labor hours for both Publix and our food bank partners. We reduced product damages and greenhouse gas emissions by having dedicated, full trucks going straight from the warehouse to the food bank. Last year Publix sold almost 155,000 donation cards in the Metro Atlanta pilot program. This equates to 19 trailer loads of donated product going to the food banks—making Food for Sharing a success all around, especially for the families who were able to enjoy a nice meal.

Publix Sustainability Report 2009


Because we believe developing responsible environmental habits in a child’s life can have a much larger impact for everyone, Publix is involved with the Florida Newspaper in Education, The Herald-Tribune Media Group Newspaper in Education, and 28 partner newspapers to sponsor a school curriculum on the subject of sustainability. The partnership teaches students useful ways of practicing sustainable environmental activity to preserve our resources. The curriculum, entitled Go Green, is distributed to approximately 400,000 sixth-grade students and teachers in public, private and home schools. In addition to the curriculum, Publix sponsored a Design-A-Bag contest. Sixth-grade students were invited to submit original artwork demonstrating the subject of sustainability for printing on a limited edition reusable grocery bag. See the winning results and learn more about this very worthwhile program at


Publix Sustainability Report 2009

Bryant McClenaghan, one of the 2009 winners of the Mr. George Community Service Award, is an active volunteer for United Way, the Boy Scouts, and several elementary schools. Bryant, who has progressed from a stock clerk to store manager, has been described by his fellow associates as having “the spirit of giving back to the community in which he works… and is always personally involved in putting a face to the name of Publix.”

Our customers get involved at Publix, supporting Special Olympics, March of Dimes, Food for All and many other community service opportunities made available to them at their neighborhood Publix.

Last year Publix associates raised $21.7 million for United Way through payroll deductions and individual donations. In addition to the money raised by associates, Publix Super Markets Charities donated another $16.6 million to United Way. These monies are put to work in our communities.


$21.7 million raised from Publix associates


$16.6 million donated from Publix Super Markets Charities

Moving forward The purpose of this report is to share the tremendous achievements our associates have made in our sustainability journey. Every day we make more progress.


Publix Sustainability Report 2009

Publix will continue to track recycling rates and energy savings for trials and pilot projects—those implemented and those simply added to the lessonslearned category. Publix will continue to honor its mission statement to be the premier quality food retailer in the world, committing to be: • passionately focused on customer value • intolerant of waste • dedicated to the dignity, value and employment security of our associates • devoted to the highest standards of stewardship for our stockholders, and • involved as responsible citizens in our communities. We hope this report has not just informed you, but inspired you. We invite you to visit for hundreds of ideas you can put to use, starting today. We welcome you to share your ideas with us, as well at And we welcome you as an active member of our family as we strive to go ever further toward making our world—and our future world—even more sustainable.

Publix Sustainability Report 2009


Corporate Sustainability Statement Publix’s continued success depends upon sustaining our environment, the people in our company and communities, and our business. Publix has always been committed to the responsible use of environmental resources. That’s why we: Make reductions wherever practical in our consumption of energy, fuel, water, and materials by: • building new stores that are more energy-efficient than existing stores • reducing energy consumption in existing stores • minimizing water use while still maintaining the highest standards of sanitation and food safety in the industry • reducing fuel use and emissions through fleet modifications, training, and optimization of loads, routing and delivery schedules and • evaluating the use and sale of alternative fuels wherever practical Employ and explore options for the reduction, reuse, and recycling of materials such as: • recycling store-generated material destined for landfills and • working with our suppliers to reduce materials, promote reusable and recyclable materials, and increase the use of recycled content where practical Promote sustainability with associates, customers, and suppliers, and within the retail industry by: • offering environmentally friendly products, such as reusable shopping bags • providing associates and customers tips for practicing sustainability at home and • working with suppliers to identify sustainable product and packaging options

Publix Super Markets Corporate Sustainability Report 2009  

George Jenkins, affectionately known as Mr. George, founded Publix in the midst of the Great Depression. The idea of conserving resources an...