15 Major U.S. Companies Pledge 50 Percent Reduction in Food Loss and Waste
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy announced the inaugural class of the U.S. Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions, U.S. businesses and organizations pledging concrete steps to reduce food loss and waste in their operations 50 percent by 2030. Champions announced today include Ahold USA, Blue Apron, Bon Appétit Management Company, Campbell Soup Company, Conagra Brands, Delhaize America, General Mills, Kellogg Company, PepsiCo, Sodexo, Unilever, Walmart, Wegman’s Food Markets, Weis Markets and YUM! Brands.
“The founding 2030 Champions have shown exceptional leadership in the fight to reduce, recover and recycle food loss and waste,” said Vilsack. “The staggering amount of wasted food in the United States has far-reaching impacts on food security, resource conservation and climate change. To help galvanize U.S. efforts to reduce food loss and waste, USDA and EPA announced the first U.S. food loss and waste reduction goal in September 2015. Today, the first 15 Champions are stepping up to do their part to help the nation reach this critical goal.”
“Reducing food waste is good for business, it’s good for the environment, and it’s good for our communities,” said McCarthy. “We need leaders in every field and every sector to help us reach our food loss goal. That’s why we’re excited to work with the 2030 Champions and others across the food retail industry as we work together to ensure that we feed families instead of landfills.”
In the United States, EPA estimates that more food reaches landfills and incinerators than any other single material in our everyday trash, about 21 percent of the waste stream. Keeping wholesome and nutritious food in our communities and out of landfills helps communities and the 42 million Americans that live in food insecure households. Reducing food waste also impacts climate change as 20 percent of total U.S. methane emissions come from landfills.
Each 2030 Champion establishes a baseline marking where they are today and will measure and report on their progress toward the goal in a way that makes sense for their organization. There are many ways to look at food loss and waste and definitions vary. 2030 Champions are encouraged to consult the Food Loss and Waste Protocol for information on defining and transparently measuring food loss and waste.
For food waste in the U.S., EPA’s Advancing Sustainable Materials Management: Facts and Figures provides an estimate of the amount of food going to landfills from residences; commercial establishments like grocery stores and restaurants; institutional sources like school cafeterias; and industrial sources like factory lunchrooms. USDA’s Economic Research Service estimates that the amount of food that went uneaten at the retail and consumer levels in the baseline year of 2010 represented 31 percent of the available food supply, about 133 billion pounds of food worth an estimated $161.6 billion.
Cutting food waste in half by 2030 will take a sustained commitment from everyone. Success requires action from the entire food system including the food industry, non-profits, governments and individuals.
USDA research estimates that about 90 billion pounds comes from consumers, costing $370 per person every year. USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion produces a resource, called Let’s Talk Trash, which focuses on consumer education, highlighting key data and action steps consumers can take to reduce food waste.
Details on becoming a U.S. Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champion can be found at www.usda.gov/oce/foodwaste and www.epa.gov/sustainable-management-food. Businesses not yet in a position to make the 50 percent reduction commitment can participate in the Food Recovery Challenge or the U.S. Food Waste Challenge.
U.S. Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions
Meet the 15 Inaugural 2030 Food Loss and Waste Champions and Stakeholder, Feeding America
Ahold USA (Stop & Shop New England, Stop & Shop New York, Giant Landover and Giant Carlisle)
“Ahold USA’s retail divisions of Stop & Shop New England, Stop & Shop New York, Giant Landover and Giant Carlisle are always looking for innovative ways to lessen their impact on the environment. For example, the Stop & Shop New England division just opened a Green Energy Facility that is expected to process an average of 95 tons of inedible food per day, an estimated 34,000 tons per year. Instead of heading to a landfill, this inedible food is broken down by an anaerobic digester that produces a biogas that fuels a generator that, in turn, generates electricity. Coupled with donations of fresh food, composting programs, bag use reduction efforts, and organic recycling initiatives, Ahold USA retail divisions are on a path to reach their goal of achieving zero waste by 2020.” – said Marissa Nelson, SVP Responsible Retailing and Healthy Living, AUSA.
“As part of Blue Apron’s vision to build a better food system, we’re committed to understanding and improving our environmental footprint, which includes food waste. While we’re proud of our work to date, we also know that collaboration across the public and private sector can expand the impact we are able to have at the national level on this important issue. We are honored to join the inaugural class of the Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions and work with the USDA, EPA and leading companies to help lead the nation in addressing food waste,” – Matt Salzberg, CEO, Blue Apron.
Bon Appétit Management Company
“We’ve long battled food waste at the source in our kitchens and on farms because it also represents a waste of our precious land, air, water and energy. With so many Americans going hungry, redirecting any edible excess food to people also makes sense. We are happy to see the government taking action on this important problem and promoting the many solutions available to addressing it,” – Fedele Bauccio, CEO and cofounder, Bon Appétit Management Company
Campbell Soup Company
“We look forward to joining the Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions Initiative to help advance this critical issue with far-reaching implications. At Campbell, we are driven by our purpose, Real food that matters for life’s moments, and are committed to working with government, industry and consumers to make significant reductions in food waste,” – Dave Stangis, Campbell’s Vice President, Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability.
“Conagra Brands has been working to reduce food waste and divert unavoidable by-products of food production from landfills for many years. As part of the Conagra’s recent materiality assessment, we determined that waste, particularly food waste, was of critical importance to our company and we are dedicated to its reduction throughout our operations,” – Gail Tavill, Vice President, Sustainability and R&D Readiness, Conagra Brands.
Delhaize America (Hanaford and Food Lion)
“Food Lion and Hannaford strive to make sure any food that can diverted from local landfills and is safe to eat, is donated to food rescue programs. We have made a significant commitment to help end hunger in our communities through the Food Lion Feeds and Hannaford Helps charitable programs, and we are proud of the work we do every day in the fight against hunger and move toward zero waste.” – George Parmenter, Manager of Sustainability.
“As a global food company, it’s imperative to take thoughtful action to combat food waste. We will continue to advance our role in helping to reduce food insecurity, reduce the needless churn of the planet’s resources used to produce food that is then thrown away, and eliminating the cost from food that is ultimately wasted. We are committed to doing our part–socially, environmentally and financially–and we support the USDA and EPA’s continued leadership efforts to escalate the importance of food waste reduction.” – Jerry Lynch, Chief Sustainability Officer at General Mills. ”
“Kellogg cares about nourishing people with our foods, feeding those in need, nurturing our planet and living our founder’s values. As a global food company, we have a significant role to play in helping end hunger, achieving food security, improving nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture. In support of the Sustainable Development Goals, Kellogg is committed to helping reduce food waste by 50 percent by 2030. Already, Kellogg has reduced waste sent to landfill by more than 60 percent since 2005, including food waste. We remain committed to ensuring edible food waste is donated to feed people in need, when appropriate. Through our signature hunger relief purpose platform, Breakfasts for Better Days, we’re committed to fighting hunger and feeding potential. We also will continue our partnerships to develop sustainable agriculture programs with smallholder farmers that help prevent post-harvest loss in major ingredients relevant to Kellogg.” – Diane Holdorf, Chief Sustainability Officer
“Companies like ours have an important role to play in supporting the communities where we live and work, including cutting food waste in our operations and finding new ways to put more nutritious food in the hands of those who are hungry and undernourished. These goals, part of PepsiCo’s Performance with Purpose 2025 agenda, demonstrate our continued commitment to running our business in a way that addresses environmental, health and social challenges around the world.” – Dr. Mehmood Khan, Vice Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer of Global Research and Development, PepsiCo
“One of Sodexo’s goals as an organization is to contribute to effective and sustainable consumption. To do this, it’s crucial that we minimize food waste. In the US, about 40% percent of the food produced is never consumed, while 42 million people are food insecure. Sodexo is proud to join other leaders in the food service industry as a U.S. Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champion. We are committing to minimizing food waste throughout every part of our value chain– “from the field to the fork.” This is not only an urgent mission given the high economic, social, and environmental cost of waste, but it also resonates with Sodexo’s mission to improve quality of life in every community we serve,” – Lorna Donatone, CEO, Sodexo Schools Worldwide and President, Sodexo North America.
“At Walmart, we are focused on reducing food waste across our entire operation along the farm to fork continuum. It is exciting to see the USDA and the EPA challenging the industry to reduce food waste by 50 percent by 2030. We have previously committed to eliminate food waste to landfill in our U.S. operations by 2025, and we are honored to be among this group of Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions. We have made significant progress in our own operations and have broadened our efforts to working with suppliers and customers to reduce food waste at every stage of the supply chain including implementing a standardized Best If Used By date label on our Private Brand food product, and engaging in consumer education on actions that can be taken in homes to reduce food waste.” – Shana DeSmit, Vice President, U.S. Fresh Operations, Walmart
Wegmans Food Markets
“Wegmans is committed to making a difference in every community we serve, and one of the ways we’re delivering on this promise is through our commitment to reducing food waste. From reducing avoidable food waste in our stores, and diverting unavoidable food scraps from landfills by offering them as feed for local livestock or sending them for composting or anaerobic digestion, to working with more than 350 food banks and pantries for daily food pickups at our stores, we’re taking measurable steps to reduce food waste throughout each and every one of our communities. We are proud to be a Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champion, and to be among this group of industry leaders that are coming together with the EPA and USDA to address the issue of food waste in our nation.” – Jason Wadsworth, manager of sustainability at Wegmans
“Weis Markets is excited to join USDA/EPA’s Food Loss and Waste Champions Program. We see it as an opportunity to participate with like-minded industry peers to share best practices in our collective journeys to reduce and ultimately eliminate the food waste we generate. Weis Markets has made significant progress rolling out programs such as composting food waste at 70 locations, donating food in our local communities and recycling our cooking and waste oils into energy through anaerobic digestion. Through the Food Loss and Waste Champions Program, we anticipate the alliance will be a valuable tool in reaching our goal of reducing food waste by 50% by 2030. Ultimately, this will enable us to realize our mission and to lessen our environmental impact on the communities we serve,” – R. Kevin Small, Vice President, Construction & Development, Weis Markets Inc.
Yum Brands (Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell)
“Yum! Brands is honored to champion the US national goal to reduce food waste at least 50% by 2030. As one of the world’s largest and fastest growing restaurant companies, reducing food waste is good for our business, communities, and the environment. We are proud of our industry-leading food donation program, Harvest, and excited about the opportunities to tackle this critical sustainability issue.” – Roger McClendon, Chief Sustainability Officer, Yum! Brands
“Feeding America applauds the USDA and the Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions for their efforts to reduce the tremendous problem of food loss in the United States. The Feeding America network of 200 food banks partners with food companies in every community to connect excess wholesome food with people in need. Our collaborative work provided over 4 billion meals to 46 million Americans facing hunger last year, including 12 million children and 7 million seniors. We are proud of the work that many of our donor partners among the 2030 Champions are doing with us to combat hunger and food waste, and look forward to strengthening our work together in this critical effort.” – Diana Aviv, CEO
Video provided by USDA
The Life of Your Leftovers
This 3-minute video shows how USDA recycles food waste from its South Building cafeteria so it can be turned into gardening mulch. It encourages USDA employees to correctly dispose of plate waste and utensils in the compost bins in the cafeteria.
A link to the US Food Waste Challenge: http://www.usda.gov/oce/foodwaste/