Company : The GIANT Company
Program category : Health

Origins:

In June 2020, The GIANT Company celebrated National Pollinator Week by announcing the completion of a seven-acre pollinator-friendly solar field located at its corporate headquarters in Carlisle, Pa. The field is the first of its kind for a grocery retailer and creates a synergistic environment that generates clean energy while supporting the bee and pollinator populations needed within the agricultural industry. The endeavor contributes to a healthier local ecosystem while generating community opportunities for sustainability education. For this project, the company partnered with Ernst Pollinator Service to plant a native seed mix in and around the new solar array. The company also launched a new strategic partnership with Planet Bee Foundation, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that constructed the beehives for the field and employs a local beekeeper to tend to the health of the bee colonies. To drive awareness about the importance of bees to the grocery and agricultural supply chain, The GIANT Company will install educational signage along the on-campus walking path through the field. Media coverage for the initiative as well as large roadside signage identifying the field have also been used to educate the community. Honey bees pollinate $15 billion worth of food crops in the United States each year, yet populations have been experiencing a decline for more than three decades. Stewarding these essential workers in the food industry has become an important part of The GIANT Company’s commitment to help heal the planet.

Contribution:

The GIANT Company dedicated seven acres of its property to this project. In addition to funding the solar panel installation and the pollinator-friendly field development, the company made a $50,000 contribution to advance Planet Bee Foundation’s work driving awareness for pollinators and creating environmental stewards of all ages. Initially, the project raised the local community’s environmental awareness through media coverage of the project and site signage visible from the road. As the field grows and COVID-19 social restrictions are eased, more community education opportunities will become available, including access next spring to educational signage along the on-campus walking path at the site. The local community’s well-being will directly benefit from the field’s environmental advantages, including the pollinators who will thrive off the nearly one million flowers and contribute to the local ecosystem that provides the community’s food.

Objectives:

The GIANT Company is focused on helping to heal the planet we all share while providing local communities with healthy food. The objectives of the solar-array pollinator program include: 1) providing essential pollinator services to local farms that grow the community’s food, 2) raising awareness about the importance of bees to the grocery and agricultural supply chains, and 3) in combination with the solar array on the roof of the company’s headquarters, offsetting 4.5 million pounds of CO2 per year by generating enough solar energy to power the building.

Impact:

The GIANT Company is focused on helping to heal the planet we all share while providing local communities with healthy food. The objectives of the solar-array pollinator program include: 1) providing essential pollinator services to local farms that grow the community’s food, 2) raising awareness about the importance of bees to the grocery and agricultural supply chains, and 3) in combination with the solar array on the roof of the company’s headquarters, offsetting 4.5 million pounds of CO2 per year by generating enough solar energy to power the building.

Quote:

“From almonds to zucchini and countless fruits, vegetables and nuts in between, nearly one third of our food supply depends on pollinators, making bees an essential part of our food supply chain and ecosystem. A pollinator field provides us with a unique opportunity to educate our team members, customers and the community about the crucial role bees play in getting food onto their family’s table. For The GIANT Company, healing the planet starts at home, so creating a pollinator habitat at our headquarters is a natural first step as we work to address the declining bee population.” Nicholas Bertram, President, The GIANT Company