The Giant Company opens bee-friendly solar field at HQ – Grocery Dive

Dive Brief:

  • The Giant Company has completed a seven-acre pollinator-friendly solar field at its headquarters in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, the company announced. The field, which includes more than 20 flower varieties native to the Northeast and Central Pennsylvania, contributes to the company’s clean energy efforts and supports bee and pollinator populations. 
  • The Giant Company is also the first food retailer ever to be selected to participate in the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s InSPIRE study, which tracks the pollinator field and employs findings in future solar energy projects. Giant’s solar initiatives, which includes an array of panels on the roof of its headquarters, will reduce 4.5 million pounds of carbon dioxide from the environment and power its headquarters. 
  • The retailer has partnered with Planet Bee Foundation, a nonprofit that drives awareness of pollinators. Planet Bee constructed the beehives for Giant’s pollinator-friendly solar field and will take care of the bees. In addition, the organization will help the grocer develop educational signs around its headquarter campus to drive awareness about the importance of bees in the food supply.

Dive Insight:

According to the USDA, bees pollinate $15 billion worth of food crops in the U.S. each year, but beekeepers across the country have seen a continuous decline in bee populations for more than three decades. Between April 2018 and April 2019, beekeepers lost about 40.7% of their honey bee colonies, a study conducted by the University of Maryland found. 

“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,” Nicholas Bertram, President of The Giant Company said in a statement.

Other food retailers in the grocery industry have recognized the importance of bee pollinators. In 2013, Whole Foods temporarily removed all produce that is dependent on pollinators from one of its stores in Rhode Island. 

The Giant Company has been working towards reducing waste and its environmental impact for over a decade. Its “Meat the Needs” program safely freezes meat that is pulled from shelves a day before its sell-by date and donated to food banks. Earlier this year, Giant announced it is testing the Flashfood app at four of its stores to help reduce store-generated food waste. The app enables customers to buy products nearing their expiration date for a discount. 

In an effort to improve its supply chain, the company also announced a $250,000 grant program in April that supports small food businesses in Pennsylvania. 


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