H-E-B Environmental Sustainability
We love Texas and we feel it’s our responsibility to take good care of the state we proudly call home. By being energy efficient and conserving natural resources, we’re helping our communities and creating savings that we pass on to you in the form of everyday low prices. It’s the neighborly and right thing to do.
Listed below is a small sample of H-E-B’s sustainability efforts:
• In 2018, H‑E‑B donated more than 32 million pounds of food to food banks in Texas and Mexico, equaling over 25 million meals.
• H-E-B supports environmental programs for organizations such as: Keep Texas Beautiful, The Nature Conservancy, Audubon Texas, EarthShare of Texas, Cibolo Nature Center & Farm, Hill Country Conservancy, National Wildlife Federation, San Antonio Botanical Gardens, EcoRise, and many more.
• In 2019, the San Antonio-based retailer, in partnership with Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), a prominent, international conservation organization, strengthened its commitment to create an industry-leading sustainability program dedicated to sourcing top-quality seafood from socially and environmentally responsible fisheries and farms. As one of the biggest independently-owned retailers in Texas, H-E-B will continue using its voice as a large seafood buyer and environmental steward to influence change across
the industry. Seafood sustainability is a top priority for the company, and H-E-B pledges to regularly update and enhance its policies with help from organizations such as EDF, which strategically advise the retailer in its efforts to support and uphold some of the industry’s highest standards. This commitment draws from EDF’s expertise and H-E-B’s longstanding efforts to continually improve its sourcing standards and transparency for all fresh, frozen, prepared and shelf-stable seafood.
• In 2017, H-E-B donated a 24’ research vessel to the Nature Conservancy of Texas to help support their Coastal Restoration Program. This support will greatly enhance the Conservancy staff’s ability to carry out crucial restoration work and research.
Environmentally Friendly Stores –
• H-E-B is part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) GreenChill Partnership, strengthening its commitment to reduce its carbon footprint by continuing to invest in cutting-edge, environmentally sustainable refrigeration systems.
• Since 2009, nine H-E-B stores have been awarded LEED® (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design™) green building certifications and we’ve incorporated many of the same sustainable design strategies into our new stores.
• Our LEED Gold certified H-E-B at Mueller store in Austin serves as a test for numerous sustainable innovations including the first North American supermarket to use a whole-store propane refrigeration system.
• To reduce watering needs, landscaping at our stores includes native and adapted plant selections appropriate to the area.
• We save at least 828,000 gallons of water each year by keeping truck wash cycles minutes below five minutes per wash.
• Low flow restroom and kitchen fixtures have been used for many years in stores.
• Car Wash rinse water is reclaimed, filtered, and reused in the wash cycle, reducing potable water use by 80 percent, saving over 10 million gallons of water in San Antonio alone.
• Our boilers at the San Antonio Retail Support Center take advantage of condensate return, totaling eight million gallons.
• The new manufacturing cleaning system is saving over 15 million gallons of water.
• Due to fuel-saving strategies, we were the only Texas-based company invited to serve as a charter partner in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) SmartWay Transport Partnership. The Partnership was formed to reduce the greenhouse gas and other
harmful emissions from the heavy- duty sector.
• We have improved fuel economy by over 41% in the past nine years by continually tweaking new technologies made available to us to custom fit our loads and the terrain of our area of Texas.
• We use wide-based single tires on our big rigs. They are lighter weight, more fuel efficient and use less oil in the manufacturing process compared to two standard dual tires.
• We recycle our used tires into rubber mulch.
• At our Weslaco distribution center, we installed nearly 4,000 solar panels spanning 105,000 square feet. The 1.2-megawatt installation supplies 40% of the facility’s energy each year. In addition, we provide our South Texas facilities with five megawatts of wind energy from a Texas windfarm each year.
• At our Temple Retail Support Center, we installed a 1.4-megawatt rooftop solar panel system which provides over 1.7 million kilowatt hours of renewable energy to the facility.
• The 2.4-megawatt rooftop solar panel system at our San Marcos facility supplies over three million kilowatt hours of renewable energy to that facility each year.
• In 2016, we installed 4.0-megawatts of rooftop solar panel systems on 18 of our Austin-area stores. These systems provide over five million kilowatt hours of energy to these locations. Since 2015, we have installed over 35,000 solar panels on the roofs of our facilities.
• Beginning in 2017, we began an effort to install rooftop solar panel systems at 30 San Antonio stores. We have installed over 10-megawatts of solar power on these locations, with each system providing over 15% of the energy used by the store. In total, we are
producing over 13.5 million kilowatt hours of renewable energy at our San Antonio stores each year.
• Since 2016, we have made considerable investments to strengthen the electrical service to our stores. We have partnered with a Texas-based company to provide systems to our stores that ensure we always have reliable electric power. Not only do these systems
allow us to better serve our customers and communities, but they can also provide critical service to all of Texas when the electric grid is in need and calls upon them.
• We continue to invest in energy efficient LED lighting as well as higher-efficiency refrigeration and HVAC equipment.
Waste Reduction –
• In 2018, H-E-B diverted more than 473 million pounds of waste from landfills by recycling materials including cardboard, plastics, office paper, food waste, metals, and truck tires.
• Our Organic Diversion Programs have diverted more than 47 million pounds of organics from the landfill to compost and animal feed.
• In 2018, over one million pounds of plastic bags and film was collected from store recycling bins, an effort H-E-B plans to expand.
• Each year, H-E-B gives away more than 200,000 reusable bags on Earth day.
• H-E-B has plans for an initiative to help capture recyclables at many company-sponsored events.