It’s been a busy week for sustainability news in the food retailing business, as Earth Day has become a touchstone for sharing progress toward environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals. The latest: United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) has rolled out a new Climate Action Partnership aimed at helping its suppliers make credible climate commitments.
The partnership, an extension of UNFI’s Climate Action Hub and part of its Better for All strategy, is designed to provide UNFI suppliers with resources and tools to “innovate and scale” climate solutions. To become a partner, suppliers must have their climate commitments verified through approved third-party organizations such as the Climate Collaborative, Climate Neutral, The Climate Pledge, the Science Based Targets Initiative or the SME Climate Hub.
According to UFFI, more than 40 suppliers have already joined the partnership following early outreach efforts, including Conagra, Bob’s Red Mill, Dr. Bronner’s, Gaia Herbs, Danone and Lundberg Family Farm. “By encouraging our suppliers to set climate goals, we are also making it easier for our customers to choose products that take action on climate,” said Alisha Real, UNFI’s VP of ESG and social impact. “It’s a win-win for all, and a collective step forward to addressing some of today’s most urgent issues.”
Earlier this month, UNFI revealed that it had completed its largest solar array investment to date at a distribution center in Howell, N.J., reflecting its own credible climate commitments through the Better for All sustainability agenda.
Providence, R.I.-based UNFI delivers a wide variety of products to customer locations throughout North America, including natural product superstores, independent retailers, conventional supermarket chains, e-commerce retailers and foodservice customers. The largest publicly traded grocery distributor in America, the company is No. 49 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.