The planting of a ginkgo biloba tree in Bay Shore ShopRite’s parking lot kicked off the beginning of a company-wide sustainability goal aimed to be reached by April 2020: planting 25,000 trees in ShopRite communities.
Kimberly Clark, a personal care corporation that produces mostly paper-based consumer products, and environmental nonprofit One Tree Planted will also play roles in this sustainability initiative. Melissa Buonadonna, owner of Bay Shore ShopRite, said she was thrilled that her store would be hosting the ceremonial planting of the first tree of 25,000 to be planted in communities company-wide.
“ShopRite has a strong corporate social responsibility program dedicated to environmental sustainability,” Buonadonna said. “We look forward to working with our community to raise awareness about protecting the environment, and this tree-planting is a great way to start.”
Wakefern Food Corp., ShopRite’s parent company, operates 352 supermarkets across 10 states, spanning north into New Hampshire and south in Pennsylvania and Virginia. ShopRite has been involved in community and environmental initiatives for more than 40 years and continues to do so, noting it as the “right thing to do.”
Along the lines of environmental sustainability, ShopRite has taken full part in several consumer-based and work-flow-related initiatives, including grocery-bag reduction and waste-reduction methods such as recycling and donating unsold food items.
Kickstarting a sustainability goal like 25,000 trees planted in eight months is no easy feat, and Suzanne Forbes, ShopRite’s sustainability administrator, said that presenting the project before team members and customers is the best way to spread the word.
“I am pleased to be doing work with retail because I think our customers really need to know more about what we are doing,” Forbes said. “The new generation really cares about this stuff because the older generation did a good job teaching them.”
Several team members carrying shovels, as well as ShopRite administrators, took to the parking lot last Wednesday, Sept. 11, and filled in the base of a hole where a ginkgo biloba tree was placed. Roland P. Mennella Landscaping of Brightwaters was responsible for transporting the gingko biloba to a mulch island in the store’s parking lot. n