Sustainability at the Co-op

2014 Monadnock Green Business of the Year Award Winner

2014 Monadnock Green Business of the Year Award Winner

Our community-owned business is designed to value the Triple Bottom Line: people, planet and profit, with the primary purpose of meeting the needs of our 2,500+ Member-Owners.  At a time of growing questions about the quality of food, our food co-op is a place that empowers and educates our shoppers about food safety and health, while prioritizing sourcing from local farmers and producers in our region.

Environmental Responsibility

Green Team
  • Our Sustainability Coordinator leads our Green Team of 7 staff members from different departments.  They work together to help our co-op’s staff to understand sustainability initiatives, and to bring great ideas in from outside the store so the group can improve, recreated or refine these ideas to use them here.
  • After identifying disposable cup use as a big problem in the store, the Green Team helped to create our co-branded Klean Kanteen coffee mug, which became available on April 1st, 2016 in honor of Earth Day.
Green Building
  • We invested over $100,000 to make our building very energy efficient!
  • We considerably increased insulation beyond the standard R values.
  • We use a system to recover the waste heat produced by our cooler compressor to heat our hot water.
  • We use LED lighting and we have certain light fixtures connected to motion detectors to switch lights off when they’re not needed.
Solar Panelsfront of store with line of solar ZOOMED IN
CompostCompost
  • We have been giving our quality back-of-house food scraps to local pig farmers to use as feed since we opened. We occasionally look for new farms to join this program. Contact us if you are interested in using our waste!
  • Commercial composting was initiated in January 2016 thanks to new partnerships with Triple T’s Trucking and Martin’s Farm in Greenfield, MA.
  • Commercial (or industrial, as it’s sometimes called) composting allows us to compost many more items such as post-consumer waste from the café, wax boxes, compostable flatware, plates, bowls, and paper towels that are currently being sent to the landfill.
  • For more information, see our blog post about Martin’s Farm!
Waste & Re-Use
  • We reduce waste by offering reusable bowls, plates & utensils for in-house dining and promoting alternatives to disposal bag use through our re-use box initiative and community bag tree.
  • In one year (FY 2015) MFC provided 5,000 plastic bags and 54,000 paper bags to customers. We try to make it as convenient as possible for customers to have an alternative if they’ve forgotten their reusable bag for their shopping trip.  Taking a box and adding one more step in its useful life before it gets recycled can make a difference!
Recycling
  • We are able to recycle glass, aluminum, paper and plastics #1 & #2 through the City of Keene. ReverseRecycle
  • Through a new partnership with Associated Grocers of New England (AGNE) and Reverse Recycling we are now able to recycle more than ever: plastics #3 – #7, plastic bags, pallet shrink wrap and more!  This has had a significant impact on our waste stream!
  • Check out this picture of Megan (Sustainability Coordinator) and Kevin (Receiver) with one week’s worth of recycling from early on in the program.
Monadnock Region Earth Festival
  • 1 - IMG_4988We were so excited host the 2016 Monadnock Region Earth Festival.  We had record turnout and filled the space from Railroad Square all the way back to the lot next to the Co-op!
  • Thanks to the more than 70 vendors, artists, farmers and producers who came out to make the day a success!

 

Social Responsibility

Our store supports our community every day by providing local and healthy food choices to consumers and financially supporting the local farmers and producers in our region.  The Co-op currently carries products from over 280 local farmers and producers located within 110 miles of our store.

We also offer support to the larger community through a variety of programs and events.  Our Healthy Food for All Program is an innovative approach to making healthy food more accessible to those in financial need.  We hold an annual Ice Cream Social Fundraiser to support the efforts of one area local non-profit, and donate products and gift cards to countless others throughout the year.

As a new employer in town, we have created almost 80 jobs in the past three years. The ripple effect of these local jobs will strengthen our local economy and community.