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Mega Efficient at Reducing Waste – Foodstuffs announces exceptional results
Foodstuffs NZ

"With 122 sites signed up to the programme we can report the following highlights including an increase in the average waste diversion rate from 64% to 84%, the diversion of 27.1 tonnes from landfill per store in the month of August alone and the equivalent of more than 3.2 million meals donated to local community foodbank services in the last 12 months alone," says Steve Anderson, Managing Director, Foodstuffs New Zealand.

"The team has really taken the mantra to heart that we are guardians of both our community and the environment.  We are making huge inroads into reducing our impact on our surroundings, all while ensuring that the most vulnerable in our communities benefit as well."

Currently 122 sites have signed up the audited waste minimisation programme with more coming on stream in the coming months.

Anderson says, "When it comes to this issue our approach is very, very simple.  Reduce, re-use and recycle. Every team member is involved in reducing waste in all its forms - it just makes so much sense.  Waste costs.  It costs in terms of environmental and social damage, it's expensive to remove and affects the country in which we have the privilege to live and work."

"Our waste diversion rate is very impressive.  In terms of tonnage we're looking at an estimated 32,300 tonnes of residual waste prevented from ending up in landfill in the last 12 months. As we extend the programme throughout the business the positive impact will be increasingly felt by the business and local Councils.  We know that many Councils are looking at zero waste targets, and we're playing our part in that ambition," says Anderson.

Diverted waste is made up of approximately 61% tradeable commodities (cardboard, paper and plastic film), 6% is other mixed recyclables, 29% is bakery, produce and protein for repurposing or reprocessing, and 4% is food donated for human consumption.

Foodstuffs has a number of sustainability initiatives in place extending far beyond their recent commitment to phasing out single-use plastic bags.  The business was the first to introduce 100% recyclable meat trays; Foodstuffs is a founding partner in the Soft Plastics Recycling Programme accounting for two thirds of the plastic collected; products are being reformulated to remove or reduce plastic content and packaging; the business is rolling out electric delivery vehicles, ensuring promotional materials are 100% recyclable, and installing energy efficient cooling systems which reduce the carbon footprint of a store by up to 50%.

Anderson says, "New Zealand's future depends on all of us being committed to treading lightly.  We have been serving the community for nearly 100 years.  It's up to us to make sure that we continue to do so sustainably, ensuring the New Zealand we know and love is here for many hundreds of years to come."

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