Tag Archives: Kudrinko’s Westport Ontario

Kudrinko’s plays host to the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario

Kudrinko’s received a special visitor Thursday afternoon – one who shares a similar passion for the environment.

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.

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Kudrinko’s earns first sustainability certification in Canada

Website.Kudrinkos.Grocery Store Certification.April 2015Kudrinko’s recently achieved a first for grocery store sustainability in all of Canada – just in time for Earth Day.

The independent, family-owned store in Westport, Ont. earned the first Grocery Stewardship Certification in the country.

The certification from United States-based Manomet Center for Conservation Services was developed to make the grocery sector more sustainable. The GSC program helps grocery store leadership reduce their environmental footprint through continuous improvement and employee engagement.

Kudrinko’s has recently made a lot of progress focused on energy – reducing carbon emissions, electricity consumption, food waste and storm water.

“I like to be a leader in the space of sustainability and the grocery industry in Canada,” said Neil Kudrinko, owner of Kudrinko’s Ltd. He added that he feels fortunate to be an independent operator with the ability to make the commitment to sustainability and then exercise the necessary changes.

The GSC recognition comes with having achieved a level of points towards certification. If a store is corporately-owned, the score has to reach 150 points to be eligible. Independent operators must achieve 100 points to be certified. Kudrinko’s exceeded both and scored 198 in its first attempt at certification.

In addition to environmental measures, the store scored high points for being active within its community. Kudrinko leads food education tours for local schools, is a consultant for the Two Rivers Food Hub, prints its flyers on 100 per cent recycled paper, and provided a multi-year funding commitment for visitor upgrades at Foley Mountain Conservation Area, among other initiatives.

“Kudrinko’s is a leader in the grocery sector for communicating the importance of sustainable operations to its employees and customers and for demonstrating sustainable practices at the store,” said Peter Cooke, Program Manager, Sustainable Economies Program with Manomet.

Kudrinko said achieving the certification gives him a new commitment to increase the energy savings at the store. He said earning the certification and 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, noting he encourages other members of the industry to do the same.

Recently-installed dairy and meat cases elevate that to the next level. Not only do they add to the shopping experience for customers, but the new coolers fit into the overall merchandising scheme of the store, able to hold more product which allowed Kudrinko’s to expand selection. Kudrinko said they are 80 per cent more efficient than the old ones, which dated back to 2001. The cases include details that make a big difference such as LED lights and roller shades for at night to keep the cool air contained.

The cases may seem like a small step forward, but Kudrinko said part of the overall customer experience includes making shopping comfortable for patrons, improving enjoyment and their time spent at the store. “We hear a lot of people expressing how nice it is to see a grocery store show their commitment to community – and to the environment,” he said. “That’s important for a lot of people.”

But he said it also helps keep the store competitive. The upgrades translate into the store saving more than 40,000 kilowatt hours per year, or about 10 per cent of the overall energy consumption. “Investments like this continue to deliver competitive pricing to customers,” he said.

Now, Kudrinko is setting his sights even higher. The Township of Rideau Lakes is now accepting plastic shopping bags and skid wrap – which he said is going to allow a further reduction to the store’s waste stream.

To find out more about other ways which Kudrinko’s has shown its commitment to sustainability and the environment, please see other relevant posts, such as the store’s latest Carbon Reports.

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