Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy Thursday announced the inaugural class of 15 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 in Pennsylvania include Weis Markets, Ahold USA (Giant Foods, Food Lion, Martin’s Food Markets, Peapod) and PepsiCo.
“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.”
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.
Here’s more from each Pennsylvania-related company--
-- Weis Markets: "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. (photo)
-- Ahold USA: "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.
-- PepsiCo: "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.
Click Here for more on the other Champions.
For more information on this and other food waste-related initiatives, visit EPA’s Sustainable Management of Food webpage.(Photo: Transforming Food Waste Into Compost, Weis Markets, Lancaster Farming Nov. 5, 2015.)