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Unified Grocers Advancing Waste Reduction Efforts

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Unified Grocers, the largest wholesale grocery distributor in the western U.S., is making significant advancements in its ongoing effort to reduce waste and encourage earth-sustaining practices throughout the organization, the Commerce, Calif.-based wholesaler says.

As part of Unified’s commitment to being a good steward of the earth while responsibly growing its business, the company has assembled a sustainability leadership team that is targeting areas for improvement, developing best practices and encouraging continued advancement in sustainability programs in all aspects of the business. As a result of these efforts, a variety of programs have been implemented and are reducing the organization’s impact on the environment.

These programs range from simple conservation measures, such as double-sided copying and pooling office supplies, to recycling paper, cardboard, wood and plastics (bags, wrap and pallets) used in offices, warehouses and retail stores. To help reduce the amount of overall material going to waste, Unified has initiated a food and biodegradable materials composting program throughout its facilities and has donated non-salable products to local food banks on a regular basis.

The company’s internal website, “Green 365,” educates and informs associates about earth-friendly practices and encourages them to submit additional ideas for green programs. Green 365 also is expanding Unified’s sustainability efforts by encouraging participation in activities such as adopting segments of roads or highways, recycling eyeglasses and home recycling and composting.

“We are very proud of the efforts and accomplishments of our associates and retail customers in working together to help protect our planet and conserve resources for future generations,” says Bob Ling, president of Unified Grocers. “We also know there is much more to do and we look forward to celebrating those successes.”

Unified recently began offering paperless invoicing to all of its retail customers in the western U.S. After experiencing positive results from paperless invoicing in its Washington operations, the company extended the program to enable more retailers to reduce waste and improve ordering efficiencies. When fully deployed, the paperless invoicing will eliminate approximately 40 tons of paper from the waste stream every year while speeding order processing and giving retailers greater visibility to their ordering activity with Unified.


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