Storing and distributing food and food products to customers throughout the United States requires a significant system of distribution centers and distribution vehicles. Many food products must be maintained at specific temperatures, requiring 24-hour cooling in warehouses and on delivery trucks, both of which have a considerable energy demand and associated greenhouse gas emissions.i Therefore, managing energy and fuel use during these operations is a key issue for foodservice distributors.
US Foods is the second-largest broadline foodservice distributor in the United States, providing food and related products to independent restaurants, healthcare and hospitality customers, educational institutions and prominent multi-unit restaurant companies.
Response — Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Facilities)
US Foods is committed to raising the bar in foodservice by developing more efficient facilities wherever possible and has demonstrated this by achieving a LEED Silver designation for its Austin, Texas, distribution center and by pursuing a similar designation at its new facilities in Jackson, Mississippi, and Seabrook, New Hampshire.
In 2015, US Foods continued improving the energy efficiency of its distribution centers by implementing or continuing a number of practices, including:
- Developed an energy auditing approach to identify future energy efficiency improvement opportunities.
- Began replacing current R-22 refrigerant units with R-407, which will reduce related emissions.
- Continued transitioning to more efficient batteries and chargers for lift equipment.
- Continued installing efficient lighting and refrigeration in new facilities.
Results — Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Facilities)ii
Since 2008, absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from distribution centers have increased by almost 8 percent, primarily due to the addition of 20 facilities to the data scope starting in 2013. Meanwhile efficiency has improved by approximately 22 percent (GHGs/square foot) against a 2008 baseline. The improvement in efficiency helped US Foods to avoid almost $50.4 million in electricity costs and approximately 274,200 metric tons of GHG emissions since 2008.
|US Foods — Distribution Center GHG Efficiency (2008 Baseline)|
|Avoided GHGs (metric tons)||24,900||25,800||31,400||33,000||51,300||52,200||55,700||274,200|