Sustainability at Oliver’s Market
Oliver’s Roots are Focused on Supporting Community
From the very beginning, before Oliver’s Market opened its doors in 1988, Steve Maass, the owner and founder of Oliver’s Markets, acted as a bridge between the community and local farmers by traveling around to local farms and selling their products to the community. Now, Oliver’s is the only grocery market where local means “Sonoma County.” The impact this has had on our community is unquantifiable, but if you live or visit Sonoma County, you see it in the cleaner air, vibrant faces and supportive neighbors. Before sustainability was a known and desired value, Oliver’s was walking this talk and lowering the carbon footprint of its supply chain by supporting local farmers and local artisans. Furthermore, over 90% of our 1,000+ employees are local to Sonoma County, reducing our carbon footprint as a company even more.
Oliver’s Market – the 1st Grocer in Sonoma County to become Certified as a Green Business!
Since its beginning, Oliver’s has continually strived to better support the local community. Around 2005, we were one of the first commercial businesses who established a recycling program and in 2008 was one of the first businesses in Sonoma County to pilot a commercial food scrap collection program. Soon after, Jude, an employee of Oliver’s was given the role of Oliver’s Market’s first Sustainability Coordinator. In 2011, Oliver’s became the first grocer certified as a Sonoma County Green Business, creating a culture of enthusiasm to give back to our community even more. Oliver’s Market continues to lead the way in sustainability by going above and beyond certification whenever possible.
Working Towards “Zero Waste”
At Oliver’s we know that “The easiest piece of waste to manage is the one we don’t create,” so “Reduce” and “Reuse” are our number one priorities before recycling and composting. From switching to reusable pallet wraps (instead of using single-use plastic palletwrap) to changing our produce bag dispensers to dispense less bags to selling reusable produce and grocery bags, we are consistently looking for new and innovative ways to operate using less or no waste. Check out our favorite Zero Waste Shopping Tips with the latest guidelines on reusable containers and more!
Incorporating Renewables & Energy Efficiency
Since Sonoma Clean Power began servicing Sonoma County, Oliver’s Market has been enrolled, sourcing approximately 40% of its energy sources from local renewables, such as solar, geothermal and hydropower. Additionally, in early 2018, we installed a 60-watt 169-panel solar system to our corporate offices, offsetting approximately 86,921 kWh of electricity annually, or enough to power 8 homes each year! We continue to upgrade our refrigeration and lighting to more efficient standards and make it a point to educate staff on the importance of energy savings.
There’s Never Enough Water to Waste
Even when there is no drought, at Oliver’s we are always aware that water efficiency is important, especially since our region is prone to droughts and fire danger. We constantly check our faucets to make sure they are not leaking and train our employees to not waste water and use dry methods of cleaning when possible. At our Stony Point location we have been using recycled irrigation water since 2011 and through this program with the City of Santa Rosa, Oliver’s alone has saved approximately 90,000 gallons of potable water annually.
Social Purpose Corporation Annual Report
Oliver’s Market became a Social Purpose Corporation (SPC) in 2017. The commitments required to be a Social Purpose Corporation did not pose a dramatic challenge because they have been key pieces of Oliver’s culture since the first store was opened in November 1988. In summary, we are committed to serving “our employees, suppliers, and customers…as well as the Sonoma County community, including its people, businesses, agriculture, and environment.”
As a Social Purpose Corporation, we are required to complete and post an Annual Report. The goal of our Annual Report is to share the store’s achievements and advancements related to our Social Purpose Corporation tenets, and use these accomplishments as a baseline for future goals related to these areas.
Read the full report here.
We Would Love To Hear From You!
What distinguishes Oliver’s Market with the rest of the grocers in Sonoma County is our investment in Sustainability. We are the first grocer in Sonoma County to hire a full-time Sustainability Coordinator, local to Sonoma County who is trained in business and sustainability, and dedicated to reducing waste, increasing energy efficiency, reducing water usage and preventing pollution. Please click here to send any questions or suggestions about Oliver’s commitment to sustainability or simply to learn more about what Oliver’s Market is doing to be the most sustainable grocery in Sonoma County!