SHARLEE HUGHES

OASE Intern at New Seasons Market

Major: Geography/Sustainable Urban Development

University: Portland State University

 

AT A GLANCE

Industry: grocery retail

Project Type: food waste and recovery

Location: Portland, OR

 

PROJECT SUMMARY

Sharlee Hughes worked closely with New Seasons Market's Sustainability Program Coordinator to track their stores' grocery food waste amounts and processes for food recovery. She calculated potential savings on food waste reductions.

Questions about this project? Contact Lisa Cox

BACKGROUND

  

Grocery retailers are one of the biggest contributors to food waste, and New Seasons Market, the ultimate neighborhood grocery store, recognized the opportunity to find out where and how they could improve their operational practices by participating in the OASE program. By understanding the type and weight of unsaleable food, or food waste, and linking this information to environmental impacts, New Seasons Market will be able to make more informed ordering decisions and improve operational practices.

SOLUTIONS

New Seasons Market has three streams for food waste: employees can take home unsaleable food, local nonprofits can receive unsaleable food to redistribute to people in need, or the food is thrown away. Hughes analyzed the process for each of these food waste and recovery streams, and collected data on the type and amount of food being diverted to each.

POTENTIAL IMPACT

Hughes recommended internal policies to improve the Employee Food Program, developed standard tracking and weighing procedures to measure food donated to partners, and calculated savings if New Seasons Market could prevent some of its most commonly discarded foods (beef, eggs, milk and cheese) from being wasted. She found that if New Seasons Market donated 10 percent (1,011 pounds) of these commonly discarded food items, it could reduce monthly carbon emissions by an amount that’s equal to a vehicle driving about 4,400 miles. This is because the food wouldn’t be releasing methane gas in landfills. 

The recommended projects have the potential to annually reduce:

  

$892,920

in costs to the company

  

1,000,000

gallons of water use

  

2.7

metric tons of CO2