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UNFI Releases Environmental, Social, Governance Report

United Natural Foods, Inc. released today its 13th annual Better for All Report detailing UNFI’s progress on its social, environmental, and governance objectives during the company’s 2023 fiscal year, ended July 29, 2023.

The report shows UNFI's focus on safety, well-being, waste, climate, sourcing, and community, underscoring that these initiatives can benefit the planet, society, and the food industry while supporting business performance, according to the distributor.

“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 of UNFI, in a statement. “In FY2023, 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.”

UNFI reported the following milestones toward its goal to build a better food system:

• Published a policy that supports the goal of zero deforestation across the company’s primary deforestation-linked commodities by 2025, and a position statement and action plan for animal welfare standards in the supply chain.

• Completed a roof-mounted solar array installation at its Howell, New Jersey distribution center, with a new roof-mounted solar 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 innovative and scalable resources specific to the food system.

• Reaffirmed its commitment to DEI and continued to build a diverse, high-performing, and agile workforce by delivering more DEI programming to employees.

• Successfully completed an electric vehicle blueprint that outlines how UNFI plans to transition to zero-emission vehicles in California.

• Completed LED lighting conversions in all distribution centers, which decreases greenhouse gas emissions and lowers cost and improves safety by increasing lighting and limiting maintenance work throughout the facility.

• Deployed a Reverse Logistics Disposition Reporting system at all UNFI 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 UNFI’s relationships with high-quality producers.

“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,” said Douglas.

Related: USDA Appoints Key Leaders; Honoring the 2024 Leadership Award Winners