Tag Archives: Neil Martha Kudrinko

Kudrinko’s reduces waste by installing cardboard baler

Kudrinko's cardboard baler Westport green grocery storeKudrinko’s is looking more compact these days.

That’s because the local independent grocery store in Westport, Ont. installed a cardboard baler in September. Although it has only been in place for two months, the compactor is already showing big results for waste diversion at the store.

Owner and operator, Neil Kudrinko, said the measure was taken to continue with the efforts towards sustainability and keeping a keen focus on waste coming from the store. Recycling cardboard is an attractive option for grocery stores, and cardboard compaction makes the bulk much smaller – minimizing the space needed for storage.

In fact, the new cardboard compactor has also allowed Kudrinko’s to aggressively divert other materials such as plastic shrink wrap from the waste stream. It effectively reduced the store’s garbage production by 55 per cent for the months of September and October when compared to the same time period in 2014.

Kudrinko's cardboard bales grocery store Westport“Since installation, we have already shipped six metric tonnes of cardboard,” said Kudrinko. “The results are positive and work to maximize space at the store, while also permitting us to be more responsible with our waste.”

He added that reducing and diverting garbage from the store is something he has been aiming to focus on for quite some time. Kudrinko’s earned accolades earlier this year for reducing its carbon emissions significantly and adopting numerous green initiatives. Now, Kudrinko says he is pleased to focus on the store’s waste stream.

“We were already looking at waste diversion for fruit, vegetables and meat; now we’re looking at ways to dispose of other aspects of our waste stream without putting an additional burden on the municipality,” he said.

In that vein, Forman Farms near Seeley’s Bay takes loads of waxed produce boxes from Kudrinko’s to be recycled into heating pellets for their greenhouses. Kudrinko said it’s another example of sustainability in action.

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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Kudrinko’s takes safety to the next level

Neil Kudrinko and staff member, Monique Byrne, accept a Public Access Defibrillator from David Dargie of St. John Ambulance Brigade of Leeds-Grenville and Lanark. Kudrinko’s in Westport is now one of the few retail spaces to have a defibrillator installed.

Neil Kudrinko and staff member, Monique Byrne, accept a Public Access Defibrillator from David Dargie of St. John Ambulance Brigade of Leeds-Grenville and Lanark. Kudrinko’s in Westport is now one of the few retail spaces to have a defibrillator installed.

Kudrinko’s Ltd. got a special delivery on Tuesday morning – one that could save lives.

A Public Access Defibrillator is now installed at the independent grocery store in Westport, Ont., from the St. John Ambulance Brigade of Leeds, Grenville and Lanark.

Owner Neil Kudrinko said the machine was an investment into the safety of the store for its customers, which makes sense when considering the sheer number of people who shop at the local business.

“We estimate that about 10,000 people per week walk through the store in the summer months,” Kudrinko said. “We’ve had a few instances where someone is in medical distress in the store, so we wanted to be proactive and make this extra commitment to our customers.”

The St. John Ambulance Brigade provides community service and training which improves the health, safety and quality of life for residents of the Brockville, Smith Falls, and 1000 Islands area. David Dargie, Caring for Our Community Capital Campaign Co-ordinator with the local St. John Ambulance Brigade, said that having a defibrillator at a retail space is exceptional. “That’s progressive,” he said. “Having a defibrillator on site at a grocery store is really cutting edge.”

Kudrinko said not only is the Public Access Defibrillator installed near to the cash area, but half of Kudrinko’s staff is now also trained in CPR and automatic electric defibrillator use.

Dargie said it’s that kind of dedication that could prove essential to saving lives. “As awareness grows in terms of how lifesaving they can be, more community organizations, municipalities and now retail spaces are jumping on board,” he said, noting that the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville is aiming to create a map which showcases the location of all defibrillators in the region. “We aim to make these as popular as fire extinguishers.”

He points to an incident earlier this year in Brockville, Ont. when a man was saved by use of a defibrillator after he collapsed at a local arena. Dargie said as people become cognizant of how effective the Public Access Defibrillators can be, the St. John Ambulance Brigade is seeing an increase in people getting equipped and trained for their use.

Distributing the defibrillators is only a small part of what the St. John Ambulance does in the community. Celebrating its 55th year in 2014, St. John Ambulance Brigade of Leeds, Grenville and Lanark offers a full range of first aid, CPR and even marine medical first responder services. In addition, it has served area residents through providing training, therapy dog services, youth services, and car seat safety services. Learn more at www.sjabrockville.org.

Kudrinko said he is glad to partner with the St. John Ambulance Brigade so the defibrillator can be in place at Kudrinko’s in Westport, as part of the store’s ongoing commitment to its customers. To find out more about the unique initiatives unfolding at Kudrinko’s, click here.

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Kudrinko’s proves it’s great to be green

Martha and Neil Kudrinko accept an Outstanding Independent, Greatness in Green Award from Progressive Grocer at the National Grocer's Association show in Las Vegas recently.

Martha and Neil Kudrinko accept an Outstanding Independent, Greatness in Green Award from Progressive Grocer at the National Grocer’s Association show in Las Vegas recently. (Photo courtesy of Progressive Grocer)

Kudrinko’s Ltd. has a lot to celebrate.

The Westport, Ont. family-owned, independent grocer was thrilled to recently receive a Greatness in Green, Outstanding Independent award from Progressive Grocer. The awards reception was held in Las Vegas last week, during the National Grocer’s Association show.

Owners Neil and Martha Kudrinko were on hand to accept the accolade which honoured grocer innovation or success in a specific area of business. The store was nominated for its environmental efforts and competed against entries throughout North America.

“We’re proud of this achievement as we strive to be a modern, energy efficient example of sound business practices,” said Neil Kudrinko. “The investments we’ve made are not only good for the environment, they ensure that our store will remain competitive as we deal with issues like rising energy costs.”

Even before earning the designation, Kudrinko’s was tracking its energy consumption and refrigerant losses, replacing inefficient compressors and HVAC systems, improving insulation of the building envelope, and retrofitting its freezers with LED lights. Outside of the store walls, Kudrinko’s has installed off-grid solar parking lot lighting, and incorporated ground water bioswales into its recent parking lot project.

Progressive Grocer noted that while each of the award winners may have differing approaches to how they go to market, what remains consistent is the extremely close ties they have to the communities they serve.

“Such close relationships give independent grocers insights into their shoppers that they can never glean from transaction or market data, regardless of how rich it is,” the magazine stated in an online article.

Kudrinko’s accomplishments were featured in the February edition of the magazine, with a profile detailing the strategies that contributed to its selection as a winner.

To find out more about Kudrinko’s green initiatives, click here.

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