United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI), the largest publicly-traded grocery distributor in the U.S., has released its 2019 Corporate Social Responsibility Report. The report, now in its ninth annual edition, reflects a comprehensive summary of the company’s progress on its social and environmental commitments.
“UNFI has a long tradition of doing the right thing—giving back and operating our business in a way that minimizes our environmental footprint. As we grow, we remain committed to being good stewards of our planet, our communities, and our people,” said Steven L. Spinner, chairman and CEO of UNFI, based in Providence, Rhode Island.
The report was developed using two of the leading sustainability reporting frameworks as a reference—SASB (Sustainability Accounting Standards Board) and GRI (Global Reporting Initiative). Highlights are provided under each of three pillars, including:
Better for Our World
- Generated 5,745 MWh in onsite solar energy, equivalent to CO2emissions from the electricity use of 688 U.S. homes for one year.
- Earned Management level score (B) for the 2019 disclosure to CDP Climate Change, reflecting an increased focus on evaluating the environmental impacts of our supply chain and a higher level of oversight of sustainability topics.
- Expanded the Ridgefield, Washington, distribution center by 541,000 s.f., using green building practices. This update is expected to reduce our energy usage by 54 percent and capture 90 percent of rainfall at that facility.
Better for Our Communities
- Awarded more than $1 million through the UNFI Foundation to nonprofits across the U.S. to support the mission of building better food systems and nurturing everyday health.
- Spent $956 million with more than 1,200 women and minority-owned business, including direct and indirect spend with partners in merchandising, products, goods and services.
- Donated 33 million-plus pounds of food—the equivalent of nearly 28 million meals.
- Supported the creation of more than 140,000 acres of new organic farmland through UNFI Foundation grants.
Better for Our People
- Renewed focus on safety puts the well-being of associates at the forefront of everything the company does.
- Launched new wellness program for associates with bite-sized tools and resources to encourage healthy habitats, like getting enough sleep, being active and eating healthy.
- Launched new volunteering and giving portal, making it easier for associates to join the company in giving back.