April 22 marks the 51st Earth Day. Accordingly, many organizations have come out with announcements this week about their sustainability efforts, ranging from waste reduction to regenerative farming to net zero energy use.
Here are some of this week’s farm-to-table green news highlights:
Agriculture: Swiss conglomerate Nestlé S.A. announced a $3.6 billion set of sustainability initiatives to decarbonize its operations, including a $1.3 billion investment in regenerative agriculture. According to company information, plans include sustainable feed and better livestock management.
Regenerative architecture, along with reforestation, is shaping up to be the next wave of eco improvements on the agricultural end of food production. Also this week, PepsiCo. Inc. shared its goals to increase regenerative farming practices across 7 million acres – almost its whole architectural footprint. Those practices include restoring ecosystems by planting cover crops and building resilience.
Food waste: In addition to zero waste news coming from Kroger this week, four Stop & Shop stores in Massachusetts are piloting a Flashfood mobile app that shares sales pricing on perishables that are close to their best-by date. Stop & Shop has a goal of reducing food waste by 50% by 2030.
Package waste: Given concerns about package waste associated with home delivery services, HelloFresh reported this week that it is teaming up with Pratt Industries to switch to cardboard packaging made of 100% post-consumer recycled content for its HelloFresh and EveryPlate meal kits. The company estimated that the move will help reduce GHG emissions by 6,800 tons and save more than 115,000 trees a year.
Energy efficiency: Tops Friendly Markets reported this week that it is working with Convergent Energy + Power to reduce its carbon footprint by going with solar power at more than 75 store locations.
Greener transportation: As part of its just-released sustainability report, C&S Wholesale Grocers outlined several areas in which the company is preserving the environment, working to eliminate waste and reducing its carbon footprint. Among those sustainability steps, the C&S reports that it is improving fuel efficiencies in its fleets, including piloting trailer reefers on zero emission technology and tractor fleets on non-fossil fueled power in key markets.
Corporate responsibility: The Giant Co. introduced a $250,000 “Healing the Planet” grant program in partnership with Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful as part of its sustainability efforts. The program supports environmental stewardship by enhancing community green spaces for families. In addition, the two organizations have donated 20 free benches made of recycled bags to various community groups, and Giant is continuing its other sustainability practices like a solar field and bee pollinator habitat, energy efficient fixtures in stores and sustainably sourced seafood, coffee and tea.
Also in time for Earth Day and timed with the upcoming reopening of its remodeled store in Pleasanton, Lucky California is giving drought-tolerant Crepe Myrtle trees to all schools in a local district. Lucky California is part of The Save Mart Companies.
Kroger is No. 3 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2020 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. Meanwhile, HelloFresh is No. 88, Tops is No. 63 and The Giant Co.’s parent company Ahold Delhaize USA is No. 11.