We’ve got recycling pretty much covered! One major initiative we recently launched was ‘It’s in the Bag’ – a scheme designed to reduce or completely remove the amount of cardboard passing through our business. With previous deliveries, it was necessary to pack all the produce into big cardboard boxes so that they could be safely delivered to our customers in the right condition. Over time we noticed that this was leaving both ourselves and our customers with a lot of cardboard to recycle and, in some cases, the cardboard was being sent to landfill… Not cool.
So we made a change! Spearheaded by our team in Fresh Direct Wigan, we created 100% biodegradable plastic bags to pack all of our products into, and bought thousands of returnable and reusable plastic containers that we now use to safely (and sustainably!) deliver all of our produce direct to our customers.
Food waste is another area we need to keep a keen eye on too. As we deal with a HUGE volume of food on a daily basis, we do as much as possible to limit the amount of food that’s wasted in our business.
For starters, we’ve got a fantastic relationship with the Oxford Food Bank, who load up a van 6 days a week with food that is heading past its best and redistribute it to local charities who are helping those in need.
“Fresh Direct have been exemplary supporters of the Food Bank for nearly four years. They provide us with a range of good quality fresh food that would otherwise have been sent for disposal. Through their efforts a lot of the poorest people in the local community have enjoyed a better diet. If more companies acted like Fresh Direct do the amount of food wasted in the UK could be significantly reduced.”
Robin Aitken, Co-founder, Oxford Food Bank
Our Glasgow depot has a similar partnership with a local soup kitchen – reducing waste by donating food free of charge to charities and organisations that can use it to help others.
And it doesn’t stop there. All the produce that has gone a little too far and is no longer fit for human consumption is collected local farmers, whose livestock are more than chuffed to consume it!
Great news is… It’s paid off! The pioneering environmental waste management company, ACM Environmental PLC, have announced that Fresh Direct is a winner of a Greener Path Award for consistently achieving zero % to landfill in 2017 for all of our English depots; Bicester, Dagenham, Cambridge and Wigan.
The Greener Path Awards was created to celebrate the great work businesses across the UK are doing in reducing the impact they have on the environment. Organisations who demonstrate exemplary effort and achievement in minimizing waste, boosting recycling and increasing landfill diversion while seeking out innovative and sustainable ways to handle waste streams, are potential candidates. And we did it!
By working in partnership with ACM Environmental, we have fully optimised the diversion of waste from landfill in 2017.
Andy Jacobs, Chief Executive of ACM Environmental said “We are delighted that Fresh Direct is a recipient of the Zero Waste to Landfill Award. We have worked in partnership with them to help implement an environmentally-sound waste management strategy and to see them achieve such impressive landfill diversion results is extremely gratifying.”