Foodstuffs

Friday, 21 October 2016

Foodstuffs wins (another) waste minimisation award

Kiwi-owned supermarket operator Foodstuffs has again had its environmental sustainability efforts recognised, this time by the waste management industry’s WasteMINZ Awards for Excellence.

 

Foodstuffs, in partnership with its waste services provider EnviroNZ, won the award for “Best project or initiative in the commercial or public sectors”, for its waste minimisation programme, which is in operation at almost 100 Foodstuffs sites nationwide, mainly PAK'nSAVE and New World stores.

It’s the second consecutive year that Foodstuffs has won the award. Last year its recyclable butchery trays scooped the prize as well as going on to receive the Environment Ministry’s Green Ribbon Award for waste minimisation, in June this year.

Jennifer Elliott, Waste Minimisation Programme Coordinator, Foodstuffs (NZ) Ltd, says winning the award is further endorsement of Foodstuffs’ progress across all aspects of sustainability.

“It acknowledges what is an innovative collaboration between Foodstuffs and EnviroNZ,” says Elliot. “It’s also a real tribute to the efforts of our stores. After all, they’re in the grocery industry not the waste industry, so to be making such great progress is testament to their dedication and enthusiasm.”

Since 2014, Foodstuffs and EnviroNZ have worked to divert 80 to 90 percent of stores’ waste away from landfills by separating it into 10 recycling streams. These include the longstanding recycling of cardboard, paper and plastic waste, as well as the newer rescue of surplus food that’s fit for human consumption, and repurposing of meat, bakery and produce waste for animal feed or composting.

Elliott says as a result more than 25,000 tonnes of waste was diverted away from landfills in the year to 31 August 2016.

“In that time, two-thirds of our stores achieved or exceeded the 80 percent diversion rate goal, with the top 12 stores sustaining an average of 90 percent or above. PAK’nSAVE Kilbirnie in Wellington was the exemplar store – maintaining a 95 percent diversion rate since March.”

Elliot she says the programme isn’t just good for the environment but also makes financial sense:

“What was once seen as worthless rubbish is now a valued commodity, something other companies are prepared to pay for. Our average store is now seeing significant monthly savings on its waste bill, which in turn ensures the programme’s viability. Where possible the programme also aims to have materials utilised within New Zealand, thus further supporting the local economy.”

Dave Elder, GM for Market Development, EnviroNZ, says a huge amount of effort has gone into the programme over the last couple of years, to ensure Foodstuffs is seen as the leader in sustainability.

“We will continue to pursue additional innovations for Foodstuffs that provide a point of difference,” he says, “and more importantly, an environmental outcome all Foodstuffs stores can be proud of.”

WasteMINZ is the largest representative body of the waste, resource recovery and contaminated land sectors in New Zealand. It is the second year of the WasteMINZ Awards for Excellence, which serve to recognise the many successes and advances made by the industry.

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