Sustainability Profile: Hy-Vee

September 9, 2016 | Building Efficiency, Eliminating Waste Iowa Association of Business and Industry,

In May 2015, Hy-Vee, Inc. implemented a food waste diversion program as part of its overall sustainability efforts. Most of its 110 Iowa stores and 35,000 employees participate in the program.

Hy-Vee’s food waste reduction efforts start with inventory — shelves are managed so there’s less waste to begin with. Products that are still safe to
eat are donated to local charities, benefiting Iowa communities. More than 16 million pounds of food was donated companywide in fiscal year 2015. Finally, any unusable or inedible food is recycled, significantly benefiting the environment.

Through partnerships with zero-waste recycling companies, Hy-Vee collects unusable items, such as food scraps, floral trimmings, cardboard and clean paper, and turns them into useful compost. Stores divert more than 2 million pounds of food waste from landfills each month and many Hy-Vee locations offer their composted waste for purchase at the store, providing customers greater access to quality compost.