WASHINGTON — Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen Johnson extended an invitation for partnership here yesterday to the 600 attendees of the Grocery Manufacturers Association's first Sustainability Summit. "Working with partners like you may be just the recipe for accelerating our environmental progress," he said. "These solutions are not only good for the environment, but your bottom lines as well." Through its Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership, Green Suppliers Network, Energy Star and the GreenChill Advanced Refrigeration Partnership, the EPA works with grocers, manufacturers and members of other industries to restore aquatic habitats, minimize waste, increase energy efficiency and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. The business case for implementing more sustainable practices is especially compelling for CPG manufacturers, Johnson noted. A recent EPA report on energy consumption found that only four industries consume more energy than food manufacturers, he said. Energy costs rank third behind raw materials and labor for these companies. Supermarkets are also realizing the economic benefits associated with energy efficiency. Grocers partnering in the EPA's GreenChill Advanced Refrigeration program are saving $12 million annually, according to Johnson. By improving its water efficiency by 4%, Coca-Cola was able to save $61 million, and after discovering that one of its facilities was wasting 200,000 gallons of product and 40,000 gallons of water per year, Johnson & Johnson realized the opportunity to save $250,000 annually.
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