Sustainability featured image

Green is much more than a logo color to our company. It’s our commitment! When Mr. George founded Publix, he believed waste should not be tolerated and that’s a belief that is still carried out today. Recycling is a big part of our sustainability efforts, but there’s so much more that we are doing to meet today’s needs while thinking about tomorrow.

Reducing our Carbon Footprint

Every year we conduct a greenhouse gas inventory. This is done by collecting our total building space, the number of kilowatt-hours (energy) we use, the amount and type of refrigeration used in each store, gallons of fuel used by our transportation fleet and more. Since we began conducting this inventory in 2007, we have lowered our CO2 emissions per square foot by 15.6%.

09_AL_Sustainability Body Image

Water Conservation

We know water is a big part of our environment. In 2014, we piloted smart irrigation systems in a few stores and have since expanded this system to 16 stores. The smart irrigation system has allowed us to conserve more than 55.5 million gallons of water!

Alongside low-flow faucets, toilets and waterless urinals in all our store bathrooms, our irrigation guidelines at company-controlled locations allow us to:

  • Use reclaimed or well water whenever possible.
  • Install rain and soil moisture sensors with automatic control gauges to determine when landscaping needs water.
  • Design irrigation systems after choosing plants and landscaping.
  • Ensure irrigation sprinklers don’t overlap into single zones.
  • Use drip irrigation and micro-sprinklers when appropriate.

It’s not just our stores working hard to conserve water. Our dairy manufacturing teams have made modifications to four Cleaning In Place automatic wash systems, which have saved us 10.4 million gallons of water annually.

Keeping it Cool

Reviewing our refrigeration and air conditioning systems has helped in our efforts to reduce energy usage. By using high-efficiency fan motors in back room freezers we have saved 29,000 kilowatt-hours annually per store! It doesn’t stop there. With the addition of doors on traditionally opened refrigerated cases, we save up to 136,000 kilowatt-hours annually in each store.


Fun fact: Since the 1970s we have made our own hot water by capturing wasted heat from our refrigeration systems!

Reducing Energy Output

Part of our mission is to reduce energy output in all our stores. We are committed to building new stores to be more energy efficient and are simultaneously making changes to current stores. Energy audits and store recommissions help us maximize our efficiency. Thanks to these efforts, Publix reduced electricity consumption in our retail operations by 15.4% between 2002 and 2018. That’s enough energy to power 119,899 homes for one year!

Food Waste

We stay connected to our local communities and food banks through our perishable recovery program and partnership with Feeding America. The perishable recovery program allows food donations by Publix to support feeding those in need. Our stores have provided Feeding America with more than 337 million pounds of food, or 281 million meals, since 2011.

Reducing food waste is also a big part of our green mission. In 2017, we diverted more than 30,000 tons of food waste by-products from manufacturing plants and sent them to farmers to feed to livestock. This included scraps from bakery production!

09_AL_Sustainability Body Image Food Bank

Want to know more? Take a virtual tour of our store to learn more about our commitment to social and environmental responsibilities on our sustainability website.

Allison L.

Written by

Allison began her journey with Publix in 2017 on the social media team. While serving customers online, she realized she found her forever home. Her love for helping others and passion for Publix culture drove her to become the Employment Branding Specialist where she assists recruiters with advertising job openings through traditional print, digital and social media advertising. When Allison isn’t sharing what she loves about Publix to job seekers, she is usually watching college football with a Pub Sub in hand or riding one of her three horses. Allison looks forward to helping others learn about the career opportunities at Publix.

2 Comments on “5 Sustainable Things We’re Doing Outside of Recycling

Leave a Comment   (Comment Policy)