Supervalu Inc. will transition 40 stores, primarily under the Albertsons banner, to zero-waste operations during the company’s current fiscal year, part of the company’s new 2011 Corporate Social Responsibility Report that highlights becoming the first retailer to achieve zero-waste classification at two of its Albertsons grocery stores last November.
"We are aggressively seeking ways to build on our sustainability achievements from this past year,” said Andy Herring, Supervalu executive VP of real estate, market development and legal. “While this year’s CSR report captures some of the excitement we shared in being the first food retailer to achieve zero waste in the U.S. at two of our California stores, we truly believe this is the tip of the iceberg for us.”
To achieve zero-waste recognition, stores must divert at least 90% of all waste from landfills, a feat accomplished in part through increased associate engagement, recycling, composting and the company’s Fresh Rescue food bank donation program, to which Supervalu contributed more than 60 million pounds of food last year.
“Our commitment to significantly increase the number of zero waste stores is part of a long-term strategy for Supervalu to be a leader in the area of environmental sustainability,” Herring said. “At the same time, we are committed to these projects because we’ve also seen that they make a positive financial impact on our business, a true win-win.”
During the past year, Supervalu has compiled a list of sustainability and social responsibility achievements, highlighted in the 2011 CSR Report:
The Journey to Zero Waste: Significantly accelerated in the past year, culminating in two Albertsons stores in Santa Barbara, Calif., reaching zero-waste classification. Through a combination of innovative recycling programs, a food donation program and a joint organic composting program with the city, these stores now divert all non-contaminated waste from landfills and incinerators.
Recycling Made Profitable: For the first time, in FY 2011, recycling revenues exceeded landfill waste expenses. In total, Supervalu reduced garbage expenses by 12.6 percent over last year’s levels, while also conducting an aggressive cardboard recycling initiative that nearly doubled revenues from the previous year.
Fresh Rescue: This program captures fresh items such as meat, dairy and produce that have reached their “sell by” date, but are still edible and safe, and donates them to local nonprofit organizations. Supervalu donated nearly 60 million pounds of food in 2010.
Health and Wellness: During the past year, the grocer expanded its innovative nutrition-labeling program, Nutrition iQ, while implementing several disease management initiatives to assist customers affected by diabetes, celiac disease and other chronic conditions.
Minneapolis-based Supervalu Inc. operates 4,294 stores, including 1,114 traditional retail stores, 1,280 hard-discount stores and 1,900 independent stores serviced primarily by the company's traditional food distribution business.
Part of the Supervalu family of grocery stores, Albertsons was founded in 1939 and currently operates 453 Albertsons and Lucky supermarkets in Southern California, Southern Nevada, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.