Whole Foods' Whole Planet Foundation funded 33,555 microloans in 2022.
Whole Foods Market aims to be a force for good in the global food system, and has released its annual "Impact Report" to share its efforts. The report goes in depth about the company’s strategic approach to fighting food waste, reducing its carbon footprint, sourcing products more consciously and supporting its associates’ growth and wellbeing.
Over the past year, the Amazon-owned food retailer has diverted more than 72% of its in-store and facility-produced waste away from landfills, while also maintaining recycling programs at nearly 96% of its stores and organic diversion programs at nearly 450 stores. Additionally, Whole Foods donated more than 30 million meals to nearly 1,000 food rescue and redistribution organizations.
“Our "Impact Report" marks another exciting milestone as we demonstrate the progress we’ve made to drive forward our purpose to nourish people and the planet,” said Jason Buechel, CEO at Whole Foods. “As we grow, we’re continuing to raise the bar on our commitment to sustainability and finding win-win solutions with all our partners – from our suppliers to the environment to the communities we serve.”
Also in 2022, Whole Foods sourced 250 million pounds of fair trade ingredients and onboarded more than 2,300 new organic products, bringing its organic offerings to more than 37,000 products in its stores. The grocer also awarded nearly $1.7 million to local suppliers through its Local Producer Loan Program and welcomed nine new participants into its Local and Emerging Accelerator Program (LEAP) cohort.
Additionally, Whole Foods funded 33,555 microloans by the Whole Planet Foundation and awarded 57 grants to community-led organizations across 39 cities. Some 506 gardens and 142 salad bars were also donated by the Whole Kids Foundation.
“Whole Foods Market has a rich legacy of building a more sustainable food system, from our unparalleled Quality Standards to our responsible sourcing and environmental stewardship,” said Caitlin Leibert, VP of sustainability. “Building on the progress we made this past year, we look forward to what we will accomplish in the years ahead as we continue to find new and innovative ways to further our mission.”
In line with its commitment to advancing its team members, Whole Foods saw 1,364 team members graduate from its career development programs during 2022. The year also saw 223 team members participate in the company’s butcher apprenticeship program, and 54 associates became certified cheese professionals.