Through an innovative approach to recycling, food donations and composting, four Albertsons stores in the greater Seattle area announced a major environmental sustainability accomplishment by reaching the first milestone in zero waste classification. Part of the SUPERVALU family of grocery stores, the four Albertsons stores – Kirkland/Juanita, Milton, Mountlake Terrace and Woodinville – join only a handful of other stores nationwide to achieve a total waste diversion rate of over 90 percent. As a result of these efforts, these stores combine to divert a total of 2.6 million pounds of waste annually from landfills.
“Being a strong community partner is extremely important to Albertsons,” said Mike Clawson, president of Albertsons Intermountain West Division. “We are proud to not only offer our customers the products they want, but do so in a sustainable way that can make them feel good about shopping with us. We are thrilled to share this major achievement with all of our customers in these communities.”
To achieve recognition as a zero waste store within SUPERVALU and Albertsons, an individual store must divert a minimum of 90 percent of all waste from landfills, and set a goal to eventually achieve 100 percent waste diversion. The stores were recently audited by SUPERVALU’s sustainability team and certified as having a total waste diversion rate of over 90 percent.
“SUPERVALU and Albertsons remain fully committed to being an industry leader in the area of environmental sustainability,” said Pete Pearson, SUPERVALU’s director of sustainability & national accounts. “Our ultimate goal is to move all of our stores toward zero waste, a long-term journey that starts with individual stores like these. The milestone achievement in these stores is something our company, store associates and, most of all, our customers, can be extremely proud of as we continue our sustainability efforts.”
In June of 2011, SUPERVALU announced a commitment to transition 40 stores to zero waste operations during the company’s current fiscal year, which ends on February 25, 2012. In late 2010, two Albertsons stores in Santa Barbara, Calif. became the first to reach this milestone by diverting over 95% of waste from landfills, the first U.S. retail grocery stores to announce the achievement.