UNFI’s 2022 ESG Report Spotlights Climate Action, Supplier Diversity Efforts

Wholesaler puts focus on 9 specific impact areas
Emily Crowe
Multimedia Editor
UNFI ESG report
UNFI employees volunteered with UNFI Foundation partner FoodShare Toronto during FY22.

As part of its 12th annual Better for All Report, grocery wholesaler United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) is detailing its focus on proactively engaging with the people growing, making and moving the products it distributes. The Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) report for fiscal year 2022 covers nine impact areas, including customer health and safety; energy efficiency; governance; associate safety and wellbeing; climate action; diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI); community development; responsible procurement; and waste reduction.

As far as overall engagement, UNFI enacted new customer surveys, continued conversations with investors and made efforts to provide additional DEI and associate wellbeing initiatives. The company also launched three new science-based targets and made investments in its recently launched Climate Action Hub, which offers suppliers tools and resources to help innovate and scale climate solutions.

Additionally, UNFI created the UNFI Foundation Food Equity Grant during fiscal year 2022, which awarded the Southside Community Land Trust in Providence, R.I., $100,000 to help promote food equity, eliminate hunger and improve public health. The company also doubled year-over-year spending with diverse suppliers, installed a roof-mounted solar array at its distribution center in Howell, N.J., and completed a waste audit.

“In the past year we’ve made a focused effort to holistically integrate our Better for All strategy throughout the organization, as well as proactively engage our stakeholders, from our associates to our supply chain partners, on issues from climate to food equity to DEI,” said UNFI CEO Sandy Douglas. “That approach has yielded some meaningful achievements this year and, in several areas, also allowed us to establish the organizational structures and processes needed to make progress against future goals.”

Continued Douglas: “While we are proud of the progress we have made, we recognize that in many ways we are just at the beginning of our journey and that there is much more to be done. We look forward to continuing this important work in the coming years.”

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.

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