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Retail and Apparel
Food and Agriculture
Adrienne Gembala identified solutions and processes that reduce food waste to landfill by optimizing the store level food donation programs.
Albertsons Companies, Inc., the second-largest supermarket chain in North America with 2,273 stores throughout the United States, enlisted EDF Climate Corps Fellow Adrienne Gembala to identify solutions and processes that reduce food waste to landfill. Albertsons' Recipe for Change outlines their ESG goals of zero food waste to landfill and enables one billion meals for our neighbors in need by 2030. To meet both, Adrienne focused on optimizing the stores' food donation programs.
Adrienne approached this challenge using a three-part process:
- Stakeholder Engagement: Through a combination of in-store visits and associate interviews, Adrienne learned how food that is approaching best by dates, has damaged packaging, or otherwise cannot be sold at normal price is handled. She learned that scan guns were used to classify items to be donated.
- Data Analysis: Adrienne analyzed the scan gun data of all divisions to find those with the highest and lowest numbers and visited the highest performing division to see what was working and where they could still improve.
- Recommendations: Adrienne determined that the food rescue process varies significantly across the company, so an updated universal model needs to be adopted.
Once a universal process is implemented and maintained, an increase in food donations would create the following benefits for Albertsons and the communities they serve:
- Gets food to those who need it most in the local communities and supports Albertsons's goal of one billion meals for our neighbors in need by 2030
- Reduces waste hauling expenses and supports Albertsons's goal of zero food waste to landfill by 2030
- Increases tax deduction benefits
- Reduces our carbon footprint by reducing methane emissions from landfills