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UNFI Releases 2023 ‘Better For All’ ESG Report

UNFI ESG report

United Natural Foods Inc. has shared its 13th annual ”Better for All” report, detailing UNFI’s progress on social, environmental and governance (ESG) objectives during the 2023 fiscal year. 

The ESG report highlights UNFI’s focus on safety, well-being, waste, climate, sourcing and community. It also notes that UNFI’s initiatives can benefit the company’s business performance, resulting in enhanced value for all stakeholders.

UNFI’s “Better for All” ESG strategy continues to focus on establishing the company as a key connector within the food system value chain, creating and growing critical links among farmers, suppliers, manufacturers, retailers and consumers.

“UNFI is building a company that creates sustainable value for stakeholders and shareholders, and a better food system for all,” said Sandy Douglas, president and CEO. 

“In fiscal year 2023, we issued new responsible sourcing policies and position statements, expanded supplier diversity efforts, reaffirmed our broader commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, started work on our ninth and largest on-site solar array, completed LED lighting conversions across all of our distribution centers and deployed a new system that helps us reduce food waste in our DCs.”

As a result of these efforts, UNFI reported the following milestones toward its goal:

  • Published a formal policy designed to support the goal of zero deforestation across its primary deforestation-linked commodities by 2025, and a position statement and action plan for animal welfare standards in its supply chain.
  • Completed a roof-mounted solar array installation, the company’s largest to date, at its Howell, New Jersey, distribution center, with a new, larger roof-mounted array at its Riverside, California, distribution center slated for the near future. 
  • Launched the Climate Action Partnership to encourage suppliers to make credible climate commitments and provide scalable resources specific to the food system.
  • Reaffirmed its commitment to build a diverse, high-performing and agile workforce by delivering more DEI programming to employees.
  • Completed an electric vehicle blueprint that outlines how the company plans to transition to zero-emission vehicles in California. This reduces fuel and maintenance costs while also improving air quality.
  • Completed LED lighting conversions in all distribution centers, which not only decreases greenhouse gas emissions and lowers cost but also improves safety by increasing lighting and limiting maintenance work throughout the facility.
  • Deployed a Reverse Logistics Disposition Reporting system at all of its distribution centers that increases inventory visibility, improves operating efficiency, reduces food waste and minimizes waste disposal costs.
  • Supported the “Acres: Cultivating Equity in Black Agriculture” program, launched by The National Minority Supplier Development Council to improve the company’s relationships with high-quality producers.

Douglas added, “Our associates can be very proud of the solid progress on company sustainability and operational efficiency goals. I look forward to what we’ll accomplish together in 2024.”

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Sommer Stockton

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Sommer joined The Shelby Report in January 2022 after graduating from Brenau University in Gainesville, GA with a B.A. and M.A. in Communications and Media Studies. Sommer is excited to learn about the grocery industry and share her findings with The Shelby Report's readers!

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