Case Study:  New  Seasons Market
Feeding the Soil  and those  in  Need
In addition to feeding their customers, New Seasons Market feeds the soil
and those in need. With the help of Portland Composts!, a city sustainability
initiative, every store actively recycles and composts. It is a locally owned
and operated grocery with 12 stores in Portland, Oregon, employing over
2,200 staff striving to support the local economy and sustainable
agriculture. They have a comprehensive company-wide sustainability
program, and actively participates in EPA's Food Recovery Challenge.

Key Drivers for Effectiveness

Conducting a Waste Audit - Most Important Step

Characterizing the sources, types, and amounts of waste produced is "one of
the single most important things New Seasons Market has done in terms of
waste management because it helps us to manage costs," according to
Heather Schmidt, New Season Market's Sustainability Manager.

The annual  survey of each store's waste has allowed New Seasons Market to:
     Determine the composition and quantities of their waste;
     Measure the effectiveness of waste diversion strategies;
     Target departments with the greatest waste;
     Identify where resources are wasted; monetary or otherwise;
     Determine if they are focusing on the right areas and asking the right
     questions about waste reduction and cost savings; and
     Implement new system improvements to increase source reduction
     and diversion.
 Sustainable Materials Management
 Food Recovery Challenge
Key Topics
   Food Donation
   Associate engagement in


   Reduction in overall garbage by
   volume by 30%

   Increased organics diverted to
   compost  by 109 percent since
   2006 (They achieved this
   increase in diversion while
   growing sales by 55% over the
   same period.)

   Diverted 2,410 tons of organic
   waste including wasted food,
   from landfill to compost in 2011

   Donated 1,040 tons of edible
   food in 2011

   Saved $26,982 in waste
   expense in 2011 while opening
   two additional stores that same
   year. By diverting food waste,
   they saved money because their
   waste hauler charges 30% less
   to haul food to composting
   rather than to landfill.

    Helped their community
          United States
          Environmental Protection

Green Teams - Tapping Into Employee Passion

At the center of New Season Market's success are the mandatory "Green Teams." At each store, passionate employees
are identified to form a group tasked to reduce their store's environmental impact. Green teams drive cost savings
through the identification of waste reducing best practices specific to each department.

Green Teams 101
  At least one staff member is chosen from each department, more from departments that generate the most waste
  Green Teams are mandatory in each store
  Teams meet for 30 - 60 minutes each month
  Teams get up to 40 hours of paid time to choose a community service project each year
  Leaders in each store serve as educators for staff and community about the store's efforts
  Incentive program for staff "caught in the act" of a waste prevention activity.

 "It's fast paced, it's complex, there's a lot of waste. We have 17 different categories of recycling, and that doesn't
include compost...and so the Green Teams are quite a key to addressing all of those areas," says Schmidt.
Feeding People,  Not Landfills -
Donations and the Blue Slip  Program

Each New Seasons Market store prioritizes food waste prevention
and donation. Each store donates food that is nutritious and safe,
but not saleable, to up to five Oregon Food Bank-approved
organizations on a weekly basis. They also donate food and
products to staff through the Blue-Slip Program, a system that
allows staff to take home products with the approval of a man-
ager. Last year, food banks and employees received an estimated
1,040 tons of edible food. In addition, New Seasons Market
donates 10 percent of its after-tax profits back to the local
community, with an emphasis on fighting hunger, protecting the
environment and educating youth.

"Hunger and access to nutritious food is at epidemic proportions
and the wasting of food taxes food production in ways that cannot
be sustained," says Schmidt. "We don't want any food to go to
waste and we also want to be environmentally responsible."
Food Recovery Challenge Participant Since 2012

The Food Recovery Challenge asks participants to reduce as
much of their food waste as possible - saving money, helping
communities, and protecting the environment. Learn more: The Challenge is part of
the EPA's Sustainable Materials Management Program, which
seeks to reduce the environmental impact of materials through
their entire life cycle, including how they are
extracted, manufactured, distributed, used, reused, recycled,
and disposed.
"Prevention of pollution and creating rich soil
turns something from waste into worth - it is
customer service, it serves our communities...
it gives people an opportunity to participate
in positive change. And that has its own
personal rewards, as well as rewarding us as
people who work together in this field, in
terms of retention and  morale and can, and
in our case it has, created cost savings."
Heather Schmidt
Sustainability Manager
New Seasons Market
          Food Donation Basics

 Liability: The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan
 Food Donation Act (Public Law 104-210)
 provides legal protection to donors of
 Tax Benefits: Donors can claim significant
 tax benefits for donating food , which is
 considered a  charitable donation.

 Food Banks & Food Rescue Programs:
 Many local and national programs offer
 free pick-up of donation food and provide
 reusable containers to donors.

 For more information, visit
Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery
EPA 530-F-13-002
August 2013