US retailer Safeway has announced that it has joined the California Climate Action Registry, the Californian greenhouse gas emissions reduction project.

Safeway is the first grocery retailer in the state to have joined the registry. Membership requires the company to follow a stringent environmental programme, monitoring, reporting and certifying its greenhouse gas emissions.

"Joining the California Climate Action Registry was the next logical step in demonstrating Safeway's continued leadership in protecting the environment," said chairman, president and CEO Steve Burd. "We have committed ourselves to a companywide clean energy initiative that is already having a positive impact on our business and the communities in which we operate."

Diane Wittenberg, president of the California Climate Action Registry, said: "Grocery retailers use a significant amount of electricity and users need to be more energy efficient to fight climate change. Safeway is a leader in energy efficiency. It makes sense that the company also step forward on global warming as the first grocery retailer to join the California Climate Action Registry."

In joining the Registry, Safeway said it had made a clear and powerful statement to its customers and shareholders about the importance of the retail sector in driving greenhouse gas emission changes and investing in clean energy.

The retailer added that joining the scheme marked a further step in its own emissions reduction programme. It has implemented several clean energy initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint, and backed AB 32, California's new law to reduce carbon emissions by 25% by 2020. In September 2006, Safeway joined the Chicago Climate Exchange. It has also initiated a strategy to reduce overall energy consumption through new cost-effective building designs, process improvements and demand side management technologies in its stores.