Our Commitment to Fighting Food Waste

Learn about our programs and partnerships that minimize food waste in our stores and nourish communities in need.

White text: 50% Less Food Waste by 2030

Reducing and recovering food waste has major social and environmental benefits for our communities. It's also central to our mission of nourishing people, animals and the planet. That's why we're pledging to cut our food waste in half by 2030. Joined by Amazon, our commitment means that we will reduce our food waste by 50% over the next 10 years as part of the U.S. Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions opens in a new tab.

Our strong food waste strategy mirrors the EPA’s Food Recovery Hierarchy opens in a new tab, which outlines specific actions that organizations can take to help prevent and divert food from entering landfills. For us, this means robust programs and partnerships that work to reduce food waste in our stores, nourish communities in need, create energy through innovative technology and more.

Upcycling In Our Stores

Upcycled foods are created from imperfect (but still delicious!) ingredients. Our stores actively repurpose or upcycle neglected and underused food across departments such as Seafood, Bakery and Prepared Foods.

Nourishing Our Communities

When preventing food waste in our stores isn’t possible, our team members prioritize donating leftover food to communities in need. We take great care to maintain quality and assure that donated food is safe to consume.

Transforming Waste Into Energy

Many of our stores participate in food waste diversion programs designed to keep food waste out of landfills. This includes composting, anaerobic digestion and animal feed programs. We also continually assess emerging technologies and partner with suppliers and industry experts to improve our landfill diversion rates.

anaerobic digestion infographic: (1) Our G2E system processes food waste from whole foods market (2) Waste is transported to anaerobic digester (3) Biogas is generated
Credit: The Noun Project (electricity switch by Ben Davis, disposal unit by shashank singh, garbage disposal by Symbolon)

Anaerobic digestion is the process by which organic matter such as food waste breaks down to produce renewable energy or ‘biogas.’ By working with anaerobic digestion facilities opens in a new tab, we’re helping to turn food waste into renewable energy and generate economic and environmental benefits. We use the Grind2Energy system opens in a new tab, a customized, industrial-strength food service grinder, to cleanly capture our food waste before it’s transported to an anaerobic digester. We currently have 25 of these systems spread across our stores and 2,529 tons of food waste were sent to anaerobic digestion facilities through our Grind2Energy program in 2022 alone.

How We Stay On Track

We often work with our trash haulers to ensure that food waste is diverted properly and does not wrongfully end up in the trash. We ask our haulers to audit our trash loads and let us know when something is there that shouldn’t be there, such as plastic that could be recycled or food waste that could be composted.

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