Loblaw Companies (Loblaw) has reduced its food waste sent to landfills by 85 per cent, surpassing an initial target of 50 per cent set in 2016 by five years.
In statement, company chairman and president, Galen G. Weston, reiterated the company’s commitment to reducing food waste:
“The last year and a half have given us all a new perspective on things we may have taken for granted. For lots of us, that includes the food on our tables each day. But here in Canada and abroad, far too many people remain food insecure, wondering where their next meal will come from. Just as upsetting is that this happens at the same time as food is being sent to landfill in staggering quantities. In Canada alone, we waste enough food each year to feed every single one of the 37 million of us for almost five months. It can’t continue, and so as the stores that fill more Canadian fridges than any other, we’ve taken action. These days, so much of our lives is about doing things differently. Finding creative solutions to get us back to a new, better normal. And to see that energy help solve the food waste challenge that’s been around for far too long is inspiring.”
In an email sent to PC Optimum members, Weston highlighted programs and strategic partnerships the company credits with its success to date, reducing food waste sent to landfill across its corporate retail operations by 86 per cent, surpassing its goal of 50 per cent by 2025 from a 2016 baseline:
- No Name Naturally Imperfect products: An entire product line saving perfectly good fruit and vegetables that are small or misshapen from the landfill and sold to customers at a reduced price.
- Second Harvest: A long-standing partnership helping to facilitate the donation of enough surplus food to provide more than 1.3 million meals to Canadians and prevent more than three million kg (6.6 million lbs) of greenhouse gases from being released if that food had gone to the landfill.
- Bakery waste: The company has diverted more than 4.2 million kgs (9.3 million lbs) of expired bakery waste from the landfill and converted it into animal feed for local farms.
- ZooShare Biogas: A partnership that combines food waste from Loblaw and other partners with animal manure from the local zoo to produce biogas generating renewable electricity fed directly into the grid.
As most food waste occurs in the home, the company is aiming to educate its customers to join in their efforts, offering a few resources, including a docuseries, ‘Half Full’, where Canadian chefs show how to cut down on waste by using every part of vegetables.