Sustainability at ShopRite
Wakefern has been active in environmental and community initiates for more than four decades. We have always considered protecting the environment and helping our communities as the “right thing to do.” Sit back, relax and check out these stories of how our stores are working to make our planet a little bit greener.
Grocery Bag Reduction
Our stores promote bag reuse and provide a broad assortment of reusable bags for shoppers. ShopRite is all about choice and offers three carry-out grocery bag options (paper, plastic and reusable “canvas”). Plastic bag recycling bins are located at the front of each store. Reusing, recycling and reducing the number of bags you use means less trash is sent to the landfill and fewer environmental resources are wasted.
We also help keep other materials out of the waste stream and operate our very own recycling center in Elizabeth, NJ. The facility, which operates just about “24-7,” has recycled over 2.5 MILLION TONS of materials since first opening in the late 1970s! In 2018 alone, our stores recycled 123,932 tons of waxed and corrugated cardboard, 14 tons of plastics, 1.5 tons of newspaper and nearly one ton of office paper. The recycling program is always growing, and we recently added plastic receipt spool cores and ShopRite gift cards!
We also keep food waste from ever going to the landfill! Last year we composted just over 10,000 tons of food waste and each year we donate just about 5,000 tons of food to community food banks.
ShopRite Earth Day Challenge
The annual “ShopRite Earth Day Challenge” dares volunteers to beautify their communities by cleaning up litter at local parks and beaches. In 2018, approximately 5,000 volunteers—wearing donated gloves and using donated trash bags—gathered to clean up hundreds of locations in five states. That’s just over 50,000 volunteers participating in the challenge over the past decade! Call 1-800-ShopRite before April 1 each year to obtain a free community cleanup kit during the spring months.
Associate Green Teams
Green teams are groups of store associates who voluntarily work together to make our stores more sustainable. Our ShopRite associates educate themselves, so they can communicate better with customers and co-workers. Right now we have more than 100 retail green teams, and the number keeps growing!
Awards and Certifications
Our stores have been recognized by numerous organizations for our sustainability efforts and for taking big steps to reduce waste, conserve energy and water, and feed the hungry. In 2018, many of our stores participated in the Food Recovery Challenge and partnered with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) to reduce food waste by recycling, composting and increasing food donations. In addition, more and more ShopRite Stores are receiving Grocery Stewardship Certification (GSC). GSC is the nation’s first and only grocery sustainability certification program, which provides store leaders with a framework for systematizing sustainability practices at retail and increases employee engagement with decreasing environmental impact.
ShopRite in our Communities
ShopRite cultivates partnerships with environmental organizations in our communities. Each year, we add a few more. This year we are celebrating those organizations that are doing everything possible to protect threatened and endangered species, along with their habitats. Together we can make a difference!
Thank you to our Environmental Friends!
So much is possible when people come together to make a difference. These are the organizations ShopRite works with to create more sustainable communities:
Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions (ANJEC), Audubon Societies of New Jersey & Connecticut, Blue Water Baltimore, Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF), Clean Communities of New Jersey, Clean Ocean Action (COA), Coastal Research & Education Society of Long Island (CRESLI), Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey, Delaware Estuary Partnership, Delaware Riverkeeper Network (DRN), Delaware River Sojourn, Edmund Niles Hyuck Preserve & Biological Research Station, Friends of Island Beach State Park, Greater Newark Conservancy, Hackensack River keeper, Inc., Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Inc., Jersey Shore Partnership, KNOX Inc. of CT, New Jersey Highlands Coalition, New Jersey Envirothon, Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, Pollinator Partnership, Raritan Headwaters Association, Soundwaters of CT, Team River Runner, The Nature Conservancy and The Wetlands Institute.