We believe it is our responsibility to help create a healthier, better planet by growing organically near our stores, eliminating waste, and reducing our carbon footprint.
To protect our planet, we will focus on four major initiatives that we believe will have the most positive impact on the environment: sourcing near our stores, eliminating waste, reducing plastic packaging, and reducing our carbon footprint. Our Organic Farm will play a key role in each initiative by helping others with sustainable growing and composting practices.
We operate our Organic Farm & Orchard in Canandaigua, NY with a mission to sustainably source more organic produce and extend the East Coast growing season. Using the farm’s innovation and development, we’re able to share what we’ve learned with our partner growers to help them become more sustainable as well.
The Organic Farm is the center of sustainability for Wegmans, and in 2023 the farm is committed to eliminating 8,000 pounds of non-recyclable plastic from landfill, eliminating three non-recyclable products, and reducing carbon emissions.
This year, we’re excited to announce that all floral packaging is now recyclable, compostable, and sustainable. Our Cherry Tomato Medley container is made from 100% paperboard fiber which is recyclable and compostable.
Over 8,500 lbs. of wheatgrass root material is composted at our Organic Farm every week.
Knowing where your food comes from is important, and that’s why we believe in partnering with farms and suppliers who share our family values to provide the best-tasting food that is sustainably sourced on the East Coast. With our trusted network of over 400 family farms, we’re able to offer the freshest, best-quality ingredients from close to home.
522,000 food miles reduced by sourcing from East Coast farm partners in 2022.
“Since taking on my role in sustainability in 2017, donations have increased 126%—from 14.5 to 32.8 million pounds. That’s what I’m most proud of.” – Chris Foote, Sustainability Procurement Area Manager – Eliminating Waste, 34 years of incredible service
Through our zero-waste initiative, we are striving to eliminate all forms of waste. Started as a one-store pilot in 2016, the program has expanded to 109 of our stores, increasing our average store recycling rate, or the amount of material we divert from landfills, from 62% in 2016 to 80.3% in 2022. We’ve committed to reaching a 95% recycling rate by 2025 with a focus on waste prevention measures, reducing food waste, and closed-loop recycling.
Following the EPA’s Food Recovery Hierarchy, we start by minimizing food waste at the source, then donating unsaleable food to local food banks. Through innovative partnerships with farmers, composter, haulers, and recyclers, we’re keeping unavoidable food waste out of landfills by offering it as feed for local livestock or sending it for composting or anaerobic digestion.
Our plastic film, such as packaging wraps, bread bags, and padded envelopes, used to be recycled into single-use plastic bags, but now it is sent to Trex, where it is used for lumber, decking, and chairs.
Over 4 million pounds of plastic film is sent to Trex annually to be made into decking.
“The launch of the Smartstock cutlery program was the result of two employees submitting the suggestion during a sustainability competition. It resulted in a reduction in the use of cutlery and napkins, as well as a reduction in plastic, as the cutlery is 40% plant based.” – Ed Riederer, Sustainability Procurement Area Manager – Packaging, 28 years of incredible service
To improve the sustainability of our packaging, we’re focused on using less plastic, making sure our packaging is functional to reduce food waste, and using renewable and recycled materials efficiently. We’ve committed to reducing our in-store plastic packaging made from fossil fuels, along with other single-use plastics, by 10 million pounds by 2024. In 2022, we removed single-use plastic bags from all our stores, eliminating roughly 5 million pounds of plastic annually.
5 million pounds of plastic was eliminated in 2022 due to our plastic bag elimination and new power meal and tomato packaging.
“I’m most proud of our people and their willingness to evolve and adopt cleaner transportation solutions. Change isn’t always easy, but we picked our spots and the results speak for themselves.” – Matt Harris, Sustainability Procurement Area Manager – Carbon Footprint, 9 years of incredible service
Reducing our carbon footprint is just one important part of improving our overall sustainability. Our efforts include the increased use of natural refrigerants at our stores and facilities and reducing our use of non-renewable energy sources in our fleet. We are committed to an annual reduction of 1.25 million gallons of diesel by focusing on alternative fuels, electrification, and reducing our food miles through continued partnerships with East Coast organic farms.
841,115 gallons of diesel fuel avoided in 2022.