EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Supervalu announced that plans to transition 40 stores to zero waste operations by the end of its current fiscal year ending Feb. 29, 2012.
“We are aggressively seeking ways to build on our sustainability achievements from this past year,” said Andy Herring, executive vice president, real estate, market development and legal. “While this year’s corporate social responsibility 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.”
The company said its additional zero waste stores will be located primarily in the Albertsons banner, while also expanding similar efforts across the enterprise. To achieve this recognition, stores must divert at least 90% of all waste from landfills.
According to Supervalu, its commitment to sustainability and social responsibility lead to these examples of achievement:
The commitment to waste reduction was significantly accelerated in the past year, culminating in two Albertsons stores in Santa Barbara, Calif. reaching zero waste classification, making Supervalu the first U.S. retail grocer to announce this achievement.
In 2011, Supervalu reduced garbage expenses by 12.6% over last year’s levels, while also conducting an aggressive cardboard recycling initiative that nearly doubled revenues from the previous year. The end result was Supervalu's waste and recycling program posted a profit to the company’s bottom line.
Through its fresh rescue program, which captures fresh items such as meat, dairy and produce that have reached their “sell by” date, but are still edible and safe, Supervalu donated nearly 60 million pounds of food in 2010.