Environmental Initiatives

Earth Week 2020 Update

As we continue to assess best practices in light of COVID-19, we have made the difficult decision to postpone the annual distribution of our Earth Week bags. We had previously shared that alongside the distribution of Earth Week bags the week of April 20th, we would also be discontinuing the use of single-use plastic bags at check-out in advance of legislation slated for July 1st (Act 69). At this time, we are choosing to continue offering single-use paper and plastic bags in light of the current reality. Transitioning away from single-use plastics remains a priority for the Co-op and we look forward to reassessing an appropriate date for both the distribution of our reusable bags and the transition away from single-use plastics at a more appropriate time in the near future. 

Updated April 14, 2020

City Market, Onion River Co-op is committed to environmental stewardship with a focus on waste management, energy efficiency, plastic reduction, and protecting our natural resources. We continuously seek ways to expand this work and stay up to date with best practices in the industry with a goal of net zero waste and net zero energy use across our facilities.

Waste Management: Food Waste & Plastic Reduction 

City Market is committed to reducing food waste and following the food recovery hierarchy when implementing best practices. Additionally, we are committed to reducing plastic packaging throughout the stores, eliminating single-use plastic bags and seeking sustainable packaging alternatives throughout all departments. 


  • Diverting at least 50% of waste to compost and 25% to recycling
  • Instituting LeanPath in Prepared Foods
  • Donating food directly to Feeding Chittenden
  • Eliminating over 1 Million single-use plastic water bottles in FY19 through RO water refills
  • Removing all single-use plastic produce bags and transitioning to 100% compostable bags in Produce as of May, 2020
  • Ongoing film plastic recycling work

Energy & Climate Change 

Recognizing the energy needs associated with the grocery retail sector, City Market makes every effort to reduce energy use and optimize efficiencies including in the areas of refrigeration and heating and cooling. 


Natural Resource Management 

City Market recognizes the importance of managing our natural resources and is committed to preserving our agricultural landscape, maintaining clean water ways, and considering any further   expansion with an emphasis on sustainable use of natural resources. 


  • Stormwater runoff and environmental remediation work at South End site
  • Manage wastewater systems to ensure zero contamination
  • Supporting local agriculture through Co-op Seedling Grant Program, Producer Investment Loan Program, purchasing of over $16 million in local and Made in Vermont items and more
  • Planting over 600 native trees in riparian buffer zones annually through Intervale Conservation Nursery partnership