Grocery Retailer Joins Industry Peers in a Collective Effort to Achieve Sustainability Goals and Reduce Food Waste
New York, NY (September 6, 2023) — The Pacific Coast Food Waste Commitment (PCFWC) is teaming up with ALDI – one of America’s fastest growing grocery retailers – to cut food waste along the West Coast of the United States by 50% by 2030. Through this partnership, which builds on ALDI efforts to reduce waste throughout its operations, the retailer’s 99 stores across California will be collaborating with industry peers to share data, best practices, and operational insights to accelerate collective progress in reducing food waste.
The PCFWC is one of the largest public-private partnerships dedicated to food waste reduction in the world. It brings together food businesses and local jurisdictions on the West Coast to reduce food waste in accordance with national and international sustainability targets, including United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12.3. ALDI will be joining the PCFWC’s existing signatories in the retail, manufacturing, foodservice, production, and distribution sectors to reduce waste throughout its own operations, as well as through its influence on suppliers and other partners throughout the value chain.
Food waste is a key driver of the climate crisis and is responsible for 6% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. each year – the same amount generated by approximately 100 coal-fired power plants. It is also a drain on the economy, costing food businesses $215 billion annually. Importantly, this announcement sends a signal to the broader food industry that when businesses work together in a pre-competitive format like the PCFWC offers, overall progress will happen much faster.
“When it comes to reducing food waste, collaboration and collective action are critical to making meaningful progress,” said Joan Kavanaugh, Vice President of National Buying at ALDI. “At ALDI, our business model is inherently designed to create efficiency and reduce waste; through smart ordering systems, innovative recycling initiatives, and longstanding donation programs, we are making strides to reduce food waste within our own operations by 50% by 2030. Partnering with the PCFWC and the other signatories will not only help us reach our own goals, but also help make a measurable difference on food waste across the entire industry.”
“We’re so excited to have ALDI join this collective effort to cut food waste along the Pacific Coast,” said Michael Jones, International Partnerships Manager at WRAP, a PCFWC resource partner. “More and more businesses are realizing the benefits of collective efforts to achieve their sustainability goals, and having an industry leader like ALDI as part of the Pacific Coast Food Waste Commitment shows others that waste reduction is no longer a competitive issue. When businesses collaborate, they’re able to move the needle faster.”
Food waste is just one segment of the ambitious sustainability journey ALDI is on. By the end of 2023, ALDI will become the first major U.S. retailer to eliminate all plastic shopping bags from stores, which will remove 4,400 tons of plastic from circulation each year. Additionally, more than 75% of ALDI-exclusive packaging is now reusable, recyclable, or compostable, with the goal of reaching 100% by 2025. ALDI also designs its stores with sustainability top-of-mind, leading the industry with over 600 of its stores using refrigerants that have near-zero global warming potential.
The PCFWC provides a unique opportunity for food businesses like ALDI and local jurisdictions to further their sustainability efforts by working collaboratively to drive food waste reduction in the region. Signatories to the PCFWC receive a range of benefits, including:
- Return on Investment – Food waste reduction programs around the world have shown proven significant return on investment for all types of food businesses.
- Data Insights – Aggregated anonymous reporting from all PCFWC signatories enables businesses to measure their progress, identify priority areas of action, and benchmark against competitors.
- Industry Collaboration – Pre-competitive working groups open to all PCFWC signatories offer opportunities for businesses to learn from each other’s successes; discuss solutions to challenges; and engage with government leaders through special policy roundtable discussions.
The PCFWC also serves as a model of collaboration for other regions around the country to do their part to reduce food waste. It is aligned with the “U.S. Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions” program from the USDA and EPA, as well as important global efforts, such as World Resources Institute’s “10x20x30” initiative – which brings together ten of the world’s biggest food retailers and providers to each engage with 20 of their priority suppliers to halve rates of food loss and waste by 2030 – and Walmart’s “Project Gigaton,” which is working to remove one billion metric tons of greenhouse gases from the value chain by 2030. All of these efforts were implemented to drive action to achieve United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12.3, which details targets for food waste reduction around the world.
In 2019, the Pacific Coast Collaborative – a coalition including the U.S. states of Washington, Oregon, and California; British Columbia, Canada; and the cities of Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, and Vancouver, British Columbia; along with nonprofit resource partners ReFED, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and WRAP; and facilitator Cascadia Policy Solutions – called on food businesses and their supply chain partners to join the PCFWC. In addition to ALDI, current signatories include:
- Retail: Albertsons Companies West Coast division (which includes stores such as Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, and Pavilions); The Kroger Co.; New Seasons Market; PCC Community Markets; Raley’s; Sprouts Farmers Markets; and Walmart
- Manufacturing: Bob’s Red Mill; Food Northwest (industry association); and Lamb Weston
- Foodservice: Aramark; Compass Group; and Sodexo
- Growers: Fresh Del Monte
- Distribution: Organically Grown Co.
Food businesses and jurisdictions interested in joining the PCFWC can visit http://pacificcoastcollaborative.org/food-waste/.
ALDI is one of America’s fastest-growing retailers, serving millions of customers across the country each month. Our disciplined approach to operating with simplicity and efficiency gives our customers great products at the lowest possible prices. For six years running, ALDI has been recognized as No. 1 in price according to the dunnhumby Retailer Preference Index Report.* ALDI strives to have a positive impact on its customers, employees and communities by being socially and environmentally responsible, earning ALDI recognition as a leading grocer in sustainability**. In addition to helping protect the planet, ALDI helps customers save time and money through convenient shopping options via in-store, curbside pickup or delivery at shop.aldi.us. For more information about ALDI, visit aldi.us.
*According to the dunnhumby® ©2023 Retailer Preference Index.
**According to Progressive Grocer’s 2023 Top 10 Most Sustainable Grocers list.
About the Pacific Coast Food Waste Commitment
The Pacific Coast Food Waste Commitment is a collaboration between U.S.-based leaders from the food industries and area jurisdictions in a public-private commitment to cut the amount of wasted food in half by 2030 – a success metric aligned with United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 and other global, national, and regional commitments. To assist in moving the initiative forward, PCC established collaborations with World Wildlife Fund (WWF), ReFED, and WRAP as resource partners to provide expertise, additional philanthropic funding, and capacity for implementation. Cascadia Policy Solutions serves as facilitator and has provided foundational and ongoing critical support to the broader Pacific Coast Collaborative since 2011. Learn more at https://pacificcoastcollaborative.org/food-waste.