UNFI Releases 2021 Better for All ESG and Social Impact Report: Adds Transparency Along Its Value Chain
Evolves Better for All strategy to better highlight the interconnectivity between UNFI, its associates, its communities, and the world
United Natural Foods, Inc., recently released its fiscal year 2021 Better for All report, which covers UNFI’s progress toward its Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) commitments. The report takes a more holistic view of the Company’s value chain compared to previous editions and demonstrates accountability for the critical role it plays, given its position and scale, to drive change across the food industry.
In the Company’s 11th year of reporting on social and environmental impacts, the 2021 Better for All report expands the six impact focus areas announced last year to provide a more in-depth look at UNFI’s direct and indirect impacts at multiple points along its value chain. UNFI’s key focus areas now include Diversity & Inclusion, Responsible Procurement, Community Development, Governance, Associate Safety & Well-Being, Climate Action, Waste Reduction, Customer Health & Safety, and Energy Efficiency.
“Our collective mission is to help make our customers and the communities we serve stronger, our supply chain better, and our food solutions more inspired,” said UNFI Chief Executive Officer, Sandy Douglas. “From our more intentional hiring practices to our revamped supplier diversity program and our investments in climate-smart technology, UNFI wants to be a trusted partner and food industry leader in doing business the right way. As we accelerate our work across our ESG commitments, we are proud of the progress we are making on transparency, accountability and impact.”
Fiscal Year 2021 Progress
UNFI reports current progress on the ten formal goals it announced in 2020, providing a clear indication of which targets are on track, ahead of schedule, or slightly behind. Throughout 2021, UNFI took a variety of steps to advance its ESG ambitions, including, but not limited to, the following activities:
- Created an Executive Steering Committee to oversee the programs and practices that guide how UNFI shows up as a socially and environmentally responsible organization
- Added two new goals related to its enhanced Diversity & Inclusion strategic plan
- Awarded over $1 million in grants through the UNFI Foundation to build better food systems
- Completed a robust analysis and submitted its Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions strategy, initiatives, and reduction targets to the Science Based Targets initiative
- Achieved LEED® Gold certification for its Riverside, CA building
- Reduced 1.6 million miles from UNFI distribution routes through the Company’s maximized routes and ValuePath initiative
- Launched new ‘Every Moment Matters’ safety brand and enhanced safety programming across its network of distribution centers
- Added 53 solar-powered electric trailers to its fleet in California
- Launched four new associate-led Belonging & Innovation Groups (BIGs)
- Contributed over $2,400,000 in financial donations across all partners
- Distributed over $38,700,000 in in-kind donations to partners, including food and non-food items
- Piloted the Friends of UNFI Food Bank program in partnership with PCC Community Markets, the largest consumer-owned food cooperative in the United States
“UNFI has a long history of integrating environmental and social considerations into our decision-making processes, and we continue to make great progress on our Better for All commitments and efforts to decarbonize our business,” said Alisha Real, UNFI Director of Sustainability and Social Impact. “Building from our strong foundation and governance systems, a major focus of our efforts in the last year has been more transparency and a more holistic view of our value chain. We’ve learned a lot about the depth of interconnectivity between our world, communities, and associates, and are working even more closely with our stakeholders to address the many challenges that face the global food system.”
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The annual edition of the report, which can be read at BetterForAll.UNFI.com, is guided by leading internationally recognized frameworks, including Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB). For added transparency, stakeholders looking for GRI and SASB reporting can find respective indices in the report’s appendix. The report also includes the Company’s disclosure aligned to recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Disclosures.
Source: United Natural Foods, Inc.