U.S. Foodservice is taking its sustainability efforts companywide.
The company, which has already Green Business certified four of its distribution centers, created a companywide sustainability code to bring its efforts together.
“One of the things we found out in the last year is that our sustainability practices were not as cohesive as we wanted,” said Jorge Hernandez, senior vice president of food safety and quality assurance for the Rosemont, Ill.-based broadline distributor.
A lot still happens at the local level, though, Hernandez said. The company’s sustainability mission includes reducing environmental impacts, minimizing waste, lowering energy consumption, increasing its selection of environmentally-friendly products and working with groups like Feeding America for food donations.
Over the last year, the company has been able to eliminate 22 metric tons of carbon dioxide omissions and reduce its energy omissions by almost 18 million kilowatt hours per year, Hernandez said.
Certification from the Institute for Green Business Certification Inc. takes into account these kinds of efforts. In the company’s Minnesota facility, the latest to be Green Business certified this past summer, improved efforts to reduce solid waste, energy efficiency, purchasing and packaging and employee education.
The company’s Chicago, Indianapolis and San Francisco Bay facilities are also Green Business certified, Hernandez said.
“To us it’s important to have methods at the corporate level in place, and this (certification) where it makes sense,” Hernandez said.
The company is also working more compostable, biodegradable and petroleum-free packaging options into its product list.
“Produce is an area we’re looking closely at,” Hernandez said. “We believe local can be part of our sustainability efforts.”
The company has also donated more than $4 million worth of food to Feeding America, as well as making donations to local food banks over the last year, Hernandez said.