In recognition of Earth Day 2021, ShopRite is reaffirming its longstanding commitment to the environment. In addition to making its stores more sustainable, ShopRite is also helping protect bald eagles and bees, and planting more trees in communities where our stores operate.
With a 40-plus-year history of supporting sustainability in stores and investing in communities, ShopRite continues to work on a variety of important efforts to reduce food waste, increase recycling, protect wildlife, and provide for a greener future while also supporting nearly 30 environmental organizations including the Delaware Estuary Partnership, Clean Ocean Action, and The Audubon Society.
“We believe it is important to take a holistic approach to sustainability that involves working in our stores and our communities,” said Robert Zuehlke, Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility for ShopRite. “ShopRite associates often volunteer to plant trees, clean beaches and encourage recycling efforts. We are proud of everything ShopRite does to help the environment.”
Sustainability efforts this year include:
The Bald Eagle Project
ShopRite is once again supporting the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey’s (CWF) Bald Eagle Project that works to help eagles overcome challenges that include loss of their natural habitat. Over the last two decades, ShopRite has donated $100,000 to the CWF. In 1982 there was only one active nest in the entire state. In 2020, there were 220 active nests, and 248 pairs of monitored bald eagles that produced 307 hatchlings.
ShopRite is also now in its third year working in partnership with One Tree Planted to create a more sustainable future by helping plant 25,000 saplings annually in areas where our stores operate. By the end of 2021, more than 75,000 trees will be planted in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware and Maryland.
ShopRite is working with America’s Grow-a-Row in their creation of a bee and pollinator garden at the organization’s Pittstown, NJ farm that will increase crop yields for apples and various fruits and vegetables harvested annually at the America’s Grow-a-Row farm.
The latest effort comes in addition to $25,000 provided to America’s Grow-a-Row by ShopRite to support the organization in its mission to positively impact as many lives as possible through volunteer efforts of planting, picking, rescuing, and delivering free fresh produce to people in need.
Reducing Food Waste
ShopRite donated approximately $5 million to community food banks last year and donates more than 5,000 tons of fresh food annually. ShopRite stores also composted and diverted 8,200 tons of food waste from landfills in 2020. ShopRite has been so successful at keeping food waste from landfills that Organix Recycling, the largest food waste recycler in the U.S., presented ShopRite with its inaugural Pioneer Award in 2019.
ShopRite has operated its own recycling facility for more than 40 years, recycling more than 2.6 million tons of materials since its creation in the late 1970s. The commitment to recycling today extends across our supermarkets, with dedicated recycling bins at all stores and a new focus on Own Brand products, many of which feature a special How2Recycle® label developed by the Sustainable Packaging Coalition. The organization’s easy-to-read How2Recycle® label is an important part of ShopRite’s sustainable packaging efforts. The label is appearing on many new ShopRite Own Brands items including Paperbird™ home-cleaning products and Bowl & Basket™ food and beverage products.
ShopRite stores are also home to more than 100 Green Teams, many of which participate each year in ShopRite sponsored community and in-store cleanups efforts. More than 55,000 volunteers have dedicated time to Earth Day Challenge-community cleanups over the past decade.
For more on ShopRite sustainability efforts and celebration of Earth Day and month, please visit: https://www.shoprite.com/earthmonth2021 and https://www.shoprite.com/sustainability.