Foodstuffs NZ is coordinating the roll out of a radical new, holistic approach to waste management to more than 200 of its stores.
After identifying current best practice in the 180 large supermarkets, a new generic waste management plan was developed that could be applied to all stores. The plan has been implemented by Envirowaste Services Ltd, which began work in March this year.
The targets are 80% diversion of waste within 12 months for each store and 90% within 24 months. The results to date, both environmentally and financially, are staggering. For the early entry stores in the programme, there has been a dramatic reduction in waste sent to landfill and a dramatic increase in the recycling rate.
The first store (New World Metro in Wellington) reduced waste by 38% within three months and saved $1000 per month. It now has a recycling rate of 85% which equates to 18 tonnes per year of commodities diverted from landfill.
Now scaled up to 200 sites, Foodstuffs NZ is aiming to divert 10,000 tonnes of waste per annum away from landfill and back into the NZ economy for re-processing and sale.
This is the first time that a programme of this size, demonstrating so many new approaches to waste minimisation, has been applied to the NZ retail/waste sector.
Foodstuffs NZ was a longlisted entrant in the Mega efficiency category in the 2014 NZI National Sustainable Business Network Awards.