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Read on for more about a new technology that was locally developed and will be saving Kroger stores money, energy, and reducing their carbon footprint while giving jobs to the visually impaired.

New technology is being installed in Kroger stores to help reduce the chain's carbon footprint while saving money and energy.
New technology is being installed in Kroger stores to help reduce the chain’s carbon footprint while saving money and energy.

In the midst of the terror that struck many New Yorkers working in the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001, there was a light of hope for many – photoluminescent technology. The steps and railings, which were lined with this lighting technology, helped people find their way out of the Twin Towers.

It was this same technology that inspired then-volunteer firefighter Zachary Green, now CEO and Founder of MSN8 Foxfire, to start selling photoluminescent accessories such as tool wraps, helmet bands, and epoxy paint, to fellow firefighters out of the trunk of his car in 2010.

“As the company expanded to over 60,000 firefighters in more than 25 countries, I started to look at other applications for the energy-free technology,” he explains. “We then approached Kroger to explain how the same technology that helps firefighters see each other in the dark can now help [the grocery store chain] save money, reduce their carbon footprint, and increase safety.”

With that, Kroger announced on June 20 that it will now be utilizing MN8 LumAware’s energy-free EXIT signs in stores nationwide.

“These zero-energy EXIT signs work by utilized Advanced Photoluminescent Technology (glow in the dark) that never need batteries, electricity, light bulbs or maintenance,” says Green. ”Kroger VP of Facility Engineering, Keith Oliver, estimates that Kroger will save over $6 million dollars and reduce Kroger’s carbon footprint by over 50 million pounds of the next 15 years.”

To make the announcement, Green and Kroger held a media conference at the Kroger store in Oakley. The team behind the project is making it all even sweeter when they mentioned that the signs developed by MN8 LumAware are manufactured by the Cincinnati Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired.

“Coincidentally, Barney Kroger, who created the Kroger chain of retail stores, was the first board chair of the Cincinnati Association for the Welfare of the Blind,” adds Green.

Green says that much of what makes this project so exciting for him is that people who can’t see are helping those who can to navigate in the dark.

The biggest bonus that stores will see from these new signs is that they won’t have to continue using the energy and money sucking electric EXIT signs. No more monthly inspections, no more light bulbs that burn out – LumAware’s energy-free EXIT signs never need maintenance or inspections.

“They are eco-friendly, look great, and when the power fails, they can illuminate the way to safety,” says Green.

You can learn more about each of the signs here:

  • Eco-friendly EXIT Signs
  • Save Money with Zero energy EXIT Signs
  • Maintenance Free EXIT Signs
  • Energy Free EXIT Signs
  • LumAware EXIT Signs

Learn more about the announcement as well as the exit signs at