UNFI Releases Report Detailing 2020 Progress and 2030 Goals

Providence, RI—United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) has released its 2020 Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Report, in which the company highlights the progress it made in 2020 and outlines its 2030 goals.

The report is guided by leading frameworks including Global Reporting Initiative and Sustainability Accounting Standards Board. It also includes UNFI’s first disclosure aligned to recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Disclosures.

“As pioneers in our industry since 1976, leading by example on pressing social and environmental issues is both part of our DNA and our inherent responsibility,” said Steven L. Spinner, UNFI Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, in the press release. “UNFI made great strides in building our wholesale, services, and brands business in 2020 while putting a heightened focus on issues such as the safety and wellbeing of our associates and the communities we serve. As we look to the future, we now have an exciting plan to pursue real solutions for climate change, food justice and insecurity as well as diversity and inclusion. We view ourselves as a force for positive change, helping to define the future of food.”

Centered on the theme “Better for All,” the 2030 agenda is aligned to three pillars: Building Better for Our World, Our Communities, and Our People. It focuses on six key priorities: climate action, waste reduction, food safety, food access, safety and wellbeing, and diversity and inclusion. To this end, UNFI has established several goals:

  • Establish science-based emissions reduction targets covering operational and value chain emissions by 2022
  • 20% of electricity from renewable sources by 2023
  • 50% reduction in food waste by 2025
  • Zero waste to landfill from distribution center operations by 2030
  • 30% reduction in distribution center energy intensity by 2030
  • Donate 250 million pounds of food by 2030
  • Log 200,000 associate volunteer hours by 2030

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With regards to progress made in 2020, UNFI did the following:

  • Adopted robust safety measures to protect frontline associates during the pandemic
  • Piloted its first all-electric solar-powered refrigerated trailer with an eye towards further expansion
  • Announced new paid parental leave benefits
  • Improved its CDP Climate Change response score to an A-
  • Achieved a 7% year-over-year improvement in food waste diverted from landfills
  • Delivered 23 million pounds of donated food

“2020 was a pivotal year for ESG at UNFI. We completed a robust strategic planning process and significantly deepened our focus on key priorities,” said Alisha Real, UNFI Director of Sustainability and Social Impact, in the press release. “The steps we will take over the next decade are critical to ensuring a future that is Better for All. UNFI impacts the lives of millions of people throughout North America and we are dedicated to taking meaningful action by activating our 27,000 associates, 15,000 customers, and more than 11,000 suppliers to accelerate progress toward achieving our near-term and 2030 commitments to transform the foodscape and our world.”