Roughly a dozen representatives from Stop & Shop, GreenPrint, the Rhode Island Tree Council and the Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce gathered Wednesday morning to kick off the supermarket’s new Restore program, which is aimed at reducing carbon emissions.
The assembled group cut the ceremonial ribbon for the initiative – which takes effect this week at Stop & Shop stores across Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts – at the Johnston Stop & Shop gas station at 11 Commerce Way along Atwood Avenue.
Strategic account manager Morgan Holmes explained that GreenPrint – an environmental technology company based out of Atlanta – partnered with Stop & Shop for the Restore program. She said GreenPrint offers “sustainability solutions to businesses to neutralize their environmental footprint.”
GreenPrint’s stop in Johnston is part of what Holmes called a “roadshow” for the company, touring New England to share the benefits of Restore across southern New England.
“We do that four ways – carbon, which is why we’re all here today, plastic, water and renewable energy,” Holmes said. “So that’s a little bit of why GreenPrint is here today. We’re super excited to partner with Stop & Shop to offer this to your community and make a lasting impact for years to come.”
Stop & Shop district director Scott Danis said the program is simple, as customers don’t have to do anything differently when at the pump. He covers 10 of the 14 stores in Rhode Island partaking in the program, and shared that carbon reduction rates could go as high as 30 percent.
“This is a pretty exciting event, and one of the biggest things is any time you have some sort of kickoff or program to our customers, it can be complicated. This one is very easy,” Danis said. “Fourteen [stores] is a pretty big footprint in a relatively small state. That’s a pretty good start to sustainability and supporting the community, so very good stuff there … Again, our company is definitely promoting sustainability in all aspects.”
The Restore program has already started giving back, too. Holmes announced a $5,000 donation to the Rhode Island Tree Council, which Danis and Johnston store manager Mike Clodi presented to chair Doris Alberg and technical director John Campanini. Holmes said the funds can be used for tree planting and “greenscape initiatives” that impact Johnston and Rhode Island communities at large.
Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce Vice President Paul Ouellette and his wife have received trees from the council in the past, and he offered his congratulations to them and the Restore program during his remarks.
He soon after joined Holmes, Johnston District 5 Town Councilman Robert Civetti, Stop & Shop fuel specialist Ken Silvia, Clodi and Dennis to cut the ribbon in the Ocean State, fittingly conducted in front of one the store’s gas pumps.
“First thing I did when I pulled in was fill up my tank. The bad news is that I have a new car that doesn’t use as much fuel as the old one, so I didn’t spend as much money,” Ouellette said to some laughs. “Look out at this street – it’s a busy street, this whole quadrant with Atwood Avenue and Hartford Avenue. [There are] a lot of cars here, so a lot of carbon is being produced … kudos for you folks for stepping up and doing the right thing by trying to help the environment.”
Holmes added that GreenPrint will work with the Arbor Day Foundation to plant 100,000 trees in the New England region over the course of the next three years.
“It’s a great commitment that Stop & Shop has made,” Holmes said. “On top of already committing to offset the emissions for its customers – at no cost, no extra charge, no additional behavior, just continue to shop at Stop & Shop, pump your gas here and they do the rest – it’s an amazing commitment. Stop & Shop’s doing an extremely awesome initiative here.”