Dr. Dianne Saxe, the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, toured the independent, family-owned store in Westport, Ont. this week, with Leeds-Grenville MPP, Steve Clark.
Clark brought Dr. Saxe to his riding to raise public awareness about the Environmental Bill of Rights and the role of her office. The Environmental Bill of Rights came into force in 1994 and establishes the process for public participation in decisions that affect the environment.
Dr. Saxe visited the Frontenac Arch Biosphere office in Lansdowne earlier in the day, and then was hosting a public meeting in Portland Thursday evening about the Bill.
Clark said he was keen to bring Dr. Saxe to tour Kudrinko’s to showcase what entrepreneurs are environmentally capable of in small communities. “The work that Neil has done with the store has resulted in him having a reputation as a leader in energy conservation,” Clark said of owner, Neil Kudrinko.
Kudrinko toured the commissioner through the store, including into the new meat room and cooler area, noting energy conservation measures along the way. He also expressed concern about the cost of operating a grocery store in small rural communities, high set up costs and access to capital – all aspects that ultimately determine the viability of such business ownership.
In addition to reducing carbon dioxide emissions and being Canada’s first grocery stewardship certified store, Kudrinko also noted the switch to entirely LED lighting throughout the store. Previously, the grocery store incorporated four, 28-watt florescent tubes in each ceiling light panel, but now each light runs on 50-watts total. The first area to switch over to LEDs was the freezers, then the horizontal cases, followed by the ceiling lights.
Kudrinko has earned accolades in the past few years, for reducing carbon emissions, electricity consumption, food waste and storm water. He said leading the way as an independent in Canada shows the opportunity that lies ahead as an industry. “It provides a chance to show how we can make a difference, making the exception the norm,” Kudrinko said.
For more information on how Kudrinko’s is making green initiatives a priority at the store, click here. To read about how Kudrinko’s was named the first store in Canada to earn the Grocery Stewardship Certification, please click here.