Foodstuffs, New Zealand’s largest retail grocery organisation, has implemented a waste minimisation programme with a holistic approach to waste.
The company aims to maximise diversion of waste from landfill, with targets of 80% diversion for stores after 12 months on the programme, and 90% after 24 months.
For the 12 months to May 2017, the average diversion rate across stores on the programme was 82%, which equates to over 30,000 tonnes of waste diverted from landfill. Food waste comprised a third of this tonnage. The equivalent of 2.7 million meals were donated to food rescue organisations.
To achieve this, EnviroNZ manages the separate collection of up to 10 different waste streams from stores. In addition to the more ‘traditional’ recyclables such as cardboard, plastic wrap, co-mingled recycling and mixed paper, there is a strong focus on solutions for food waste. This includes food good enough to eat but not to sell, and wastage from food preparation or foods past their use-by dates.
The programme is constantly evolving. The recent focus has been on developing partnerships with food rescue organisations, and facilitating the recovery of food to help people in need in preference to animal feed or reprocessing.
Foodstuffs is a finalist in the Efficiency Champion category of the 2017 NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards.