New Seasons Market announced this week that it received confirmation from Portland State University’s Community Environmental Services (CES) that it is a zero waste company.
The objective, university-led analysis calculated that the locally owned grocer diverts 92 percent of its waste away from area landfills and into something others can use. According to the Zero Waste International Alliance, any organization with a waste diversion rate greater than 90 percent is considered zero waste.
Eric Crum is the director of Community Environmental Services.
“Achieving zero waste indicates a high level of dedication to reuse, recycling, recovery and/or reduction,” said Eric T. Crum, director of Community Environmental Services, a research and service unit and part of PSU’s College of Urban and Public Affairs.
“New Seasons Market’s employees have a particularly strong zero waste mindset,” Crum said. “For a multi-location grocer to exceed a zero waste threshold it takes every department and every employee to be committed and aware of their actions and impacts."
"For most organizations we work with, that requires a considerable effort to overhaul traditional systems and properly educate employees," Crum said, "but New Seasons has institutionalized smart systems not only with staff, but also with local hunger relief partners and regional haulers. These actions have provided great benefit to the company as well as the community and the environment.”
New Seasons Market worked with CES to assess and measure the average daily material stream generated by the company’s 12 stores. CES has more than 20 years of leadership in developing and completing waste assessments, data collection and recycling program analysis and dedicated 335 hours to the New Seasons assessment and report.
Among other benefits, the greenhouse gas reductions achieved by New Seasons’ current materials management program every month are the equivalent of removing the annual emissions from 138 passenger vehicles, or conserving 78,785 gallons of gas.
“This is an incredible accomplishment for our staff,” said Wendy Collie, President and CEO of New Seasons Market. “Earning a zero waste rating recognizes years of hard work, commitment, and constant enthusiasm we have for reducing our environmental impact. Our Green Teams continue to assess internal processes and explore opportunities to waste less, and we’ll continue to strengthen our partnerships in recycling, composting and food donations that have become the norm for our community.”
The analysis for New Seasons follows more than 24 years of work by CES on data-driven resource management strategies for public agencies, private businesses and other organizations, including the Port of Portland, City of Portland, and Metro.
To learn more about New Seasons work toward zero waste, visit initforgood.newseasonsmarket.com.