AFS Corporate Office Gets Water-Wise Makeover

Associated Food Stores (AFS) has implemented sustainable desert landscaping at its Salt Lake City corporate office, achieving significant water, cost, and labor savings. The previously grass-covered areas have been transformed with neutral-toned locally sourced stones, artistically placed boulders, and drought-tolerant desert grasses. This makeover is not only visually appealing but also provides substantial water conservation and cost savings. Russ Hatt, the facilities manager at AFS, has led this initiative over the past three years, with the project set for full completion in 2025. Hatt identified areas for improvement, created a detailed plan, and budgeted for updates, including replacing outdated sprinklers with efficient drip lines. 

“We’ve cut our outdoor water use by more than half,” Hatt said. “We’re being water-wise and saving on labor that would have been used to maintain the grass. Everything about this project is a benefit.” 

The selected drought-tolerant grasses not only enhance the landscape’s beauty but also reduce the accumulation of outdoor debris. The Gabion stone used in the project was sourced locally from Heber, Utah, supporting local businesses. 

“The project is 75% complete now; we only have one section on the East side and another near the road,” said Hatt. “Each spring, I look forward to updating another portion of our landscaping. I want to thank the team for pardoning the construction of our outdoor updates, but in completion, we will have something I hope the entire company is proud of. Our landscaping serves the team that works here and is the first thing guests notice when visiting our building.” 

AFS, a grocery retailer cooperative based in Salt Lake City, supplies independently owned retail supermarkets across the western United States. The company ranks No. 71 on Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.